Microscopy Australia Incubator

Making visible the impact of Australia’s national microscopy infrastructure

Through trust and identity, the impact of Australia’s distributed microscopy infrastructure will be revealed.

Microscopy Australia is a consortium of university-based microscopy facilities that provides more than 3,500 Australian researchers a year, with access to state-of the-art microscopes. Through access to their facilities, crucial research is enabled in areas such as future energy innovations, improved critical-mineral recovery, drought-proofing of crops, and bacterial antibiotic resistance.

Microscopy Australia has partnered with the Australian Access Federation (AAF), to explore how richer reporting, impact tracking and usage data, can be provided through persistent identifiers (PIDs), to reveal the impact of their facilities.

According to Dr Lisa Yen, Microscopy Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, “One of our greatest challenges, is to connect and report on the impact our of distributed services. Through this Trust and Identity Pathfinder incubator, we are partnering with the AAF to investigate the tracking of our infrastructure through PIDs at The University of Queensland, UNSW Sydney, Monash University and the University of Adelaide.

“Our goal is to empower Australian science and innovation, by making advanced microscopes accessible to all researchers. By being able to show, who is using our facilities to enable their research, we make visible our impact and ensure that our facilities are available into the future, to support further critical research and innovation.”

Nick Rossow, AAF’s eResearch Portfolio Manager, says “There is an opportunity to enable richer reporting, impact tracking and usage data for all national research infrastructure. Through PIDs such as ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) we are exploring how we can enable a system-wide approach to impact tracking and infrastructure reporting, to underpin the national research sector.

“We are working with Microscopy Australia to provide recommendations on how PIDs can assist with the identification of users of their large instrument facilities. The outcomes from this incubator will help inform Microscopy Australia’s metadata standards, an element of which includes how ORCID and other PIDs can assist with reporting on users and instruments.”

The AAF has been a key proponent of the development of the National PID Strategy and Roadmap – along with the ARDC. It commissioned the 2022 report Incentives to Invest in Identifiers, that identified significant efficiencies and savings through a coordinated approach to PIDs for the national research sector. As the Australian ORCID Consortium Lead, AAF supports the research community in the integration of ORCIDs for efficient research tracking and reporting.

Nick Rossow further states, “Through this incubator we are exploring a national approach to the complex challenge of tracking the impact of research infrastructure, to inform more accurate and efficient reporting, and for the development of a system-wide Trust and Identity Framework for national research infrastructure.”

Meet our other incubators

Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre

AAF has partnered with the Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre exploring options to provide seamless and secure access to their supercomputing service using federated identities.

The Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre is one of two Tier-1 high-performance computing facilities in Australia. Its primary function is to accelerate scientific research for the benefit of the nation. Pawsey’s service and expertise in supercomputing, data, cloud services and visualisation enables research across a variety of fields including astronomy, life sciences, medicine, energy, resources and artificial intelligence.

Pawsey’s supercomputing systems play a critical role, for a wide range of research disciplines and features as an important part of many researchers’ workflows. This Incubator will raise the security profile of Pawsey and provide a single user account across their ecosystem. The Pawsey Incubator is a foundational building block in trust and identity for national research infrastructure and plays a critical role in the implementation of trust and identity across the sector.


AAF has partnered with ACCESS-NR Ito explore the challenges of reporting on the usage of ACCESS-NRI assets such as code and data.

ACCESS-NRI is a part of Australia’s national critical research infrastructure and provides software engineering support for Earth system and climate research.

Standing for the Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator – ACCESS – is a computer modelling framework that includes atmospheric, ocean, sea-ice, and land surface models coupled to a range of chemical and biological models. Its potential impact is far reaching, and enables crucial modelling and research, that contributes to international global climate reports, weather forecasting, seasonal prediction, climate projection and climate adaptation policy.

Contact the AAF

If you would like to discuss trust and identity for your organisation, please contact us and one of our project managers will be in contact.

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