Community News

Accelerating research into Australian towns, cities and communities

By Jacinta Rebelo, Australian Access Federation

The Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN) is an initiative of the Australian Government under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). It is also one of the top 10 services accessed by Australian Access Federation (AAF) users. The AAF is recognised as a world leader in enabling researchers to securely access Australia’s National Research Infrastructure such as AURIN, as well as other global research capabilities.

AURIN is crucial infrastructure for researchers and government accelerating research into Australian towns, cities and communities. As Australia’s national identity federation, AAF enables seamless access to AURIN, and other services, for users in the Australian higher education and research sector. It provides federated identity services that are used by every university in Australia and other government research organisations including, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

AURIN provides support and quick access to diverse social science and health data so Australian researchers, planners, and policy makers can make evidence-based decisions. Known as Australia’s largest online resource of research-ready data – AURIN enables users to transform data into valuable insights. AURIN’s users are generally researchers from different organisations, governments, and universities who need to collaborate on a single project. With many users from different places, connecting to collaborate can be difficult across organisational borders. The AAF helps make collaboration like this easier by providing connectivity using single sign-on.

As COVID-19 changed the world in 2020, AURIN with the help of AAF, enabled researchers to explore how the pandemic impacted Australia’s cities and regional towns. It also allowed researchers to understand the socio-economic challenges presented by COVID-19 including accessibility to essential services. This research is crucial to helping Australia overcome the socio-economic challenges of COVID-19.

Additionally, AURIN supports research platforms like the Regional Innovation Data Lab (RIDL). RIDL helps researchers build thriving communities and fast-tracks innovative solutions by providing policy makers and researchers with data to solve real world social planning problems and address long-standing urban and regional challenges. Facilitated by AAF’s seamless login, RIDL accesses baseline data from AURIN to build dashboards like Redlands Service Mapping and explore the food environments in South East Queensland.

Without AAF’s single sign-on capability, social planning collaborations between academics, policy makers and industry professionals are made considerably difficult due to access barriers. By connecting to the AAF, AURIN and RIDL users from all backgrounds can seamlessly access data and analysis tools to inform accelerate research into our towns, cities, and communities.

“A primary consideration for AURIN is FAIR data access in a safe and secure manner for its research community. This requires high-quality trusted security solutions to be in place”, said Professor Stuart Barr, AURIN Director. By leveraging the AAF to provide researchers across Australia with authenticated access to these data resources and tools, users can find the ‘right answer’ to Australia’s social planning problems.

Contact enquiries@aaf.edu.au to find out how the AAF can help reduce access barriers for your research and organisation, to help maximise your research capability.