Compute Canada and CARL Join Forces to Build a National Research Data Platform

EDMONTON, ALBERTA, January 27, 2016 — Compute Canada and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) announced today that they will collaborate to build a scalable national platform for research data management and discovery.

Partnership will enhance research data transfer, storage, preservation and access in Canada to support the knowledge economy.

The partnership joins information management expertise from the CARL Portage Network with information technology expertise from Compute Canada to develop services that researchers need to respond to the demands of data-intensive research and to comply with funding bodies’ data sharing policies.

“This is more than a collaboration, this partnership will provide measurable value to researchers and the opportunity to provide the tools, expertise and digital data infrastructure necessary to meet today’s requirements for the knowledge economy, “shares Mark Dietrich, President and CEO at Compute Canada.

This envisioned solution uses a federated storage model. Institutions will be able to support data repositories or storage arrays within their institutions or regions that would become part of the national system. Data stored on those arrays would be discoverable through the national search interface and would be downloadable by any researcher with the required access rights.

The pan-Canadian platform will provide tools and services to support the curation, access, discoverability, and preservation of research data, allowing researchers across Canada in a range of disciplines to have improved access and control of large amounts of data. This addresses a longstanding gap in Canada’s infrastructure for digital research data management.

Martha Whitehead, President of CARL and Vice-Provost and University Librarian at Queen’s University, said, “The type of infrastructure being assembled through this partnership is essential for the shared stewardship of research data. The research data ecosystem is comprised of many stakeholders who must work together to serve and strengthen the Canadian research enterprise.”

Chuck Humphrey, Director of the CARL Portage Network, noted that, “Except for select fields of study, digital infrastructure supporting the long-term management of research data has been missing in Canada. The Portage Network sees this National Platform Service as bringing to the wider research community a set of data management tools needed to steward research data, making it appropriately accessible, understandable, and usable to this and future generations of researchers.”

The Portage Network will assist with the requirements for and design of the National Platform Service, providing metadata and data workflow solutions and testing the platform, while Compute Canada will provide project management and software development expertise and necessary computational power.

“This project was launched in response to increasing demand from the Canadian research community for a common set of tools to manage data across the country and with their industrial and international partners,” said Dr. Dugan O’Neil, Compute Canada’s Chief Science Officer. “Over the next year, Compute Canada will be building a new national storage infrastructure. That infrastructure will be technically capable of supporting an at-scale national research data management system, and our partnership with CARL will help accelerate research across the country.”

About Compute Canada

Compute Canada, in partnership with regional organizations ACENET, Calcul Québec, Compute Ontario and WestGrid, leads the acceleration of research innovation by deploying state-of-the-art advanced research computing (ARC) systems, storage and software solutions. Together we provide essential ARC services and infrastructure for Canadian researchers and their collaborators in all academic and industrial sectors. Our world-class team of more than 200 experts employed by 35 partner universities and research institutions across the country provide direct support to research teams. Compute Canada is a proud ambassador for Canadian excellence in advanced research computing nationally and internationally, and industrial sectors.

About the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL)

CARL members include Canada’s twenty-nine largest university libraries as well as two national libraries. Enhancing research and advancing higher education are at the heart of its mission. CARL promotes effective and sustainable knowledge creation, dissemination and preservation, and public policy that enables broad access to scholarly information. CARL’s Portage Network is a national research data management initiative to assist researchers and other research data management stakeholders through a library-based network of data management experts and national platforms for planning, preserving, and discovering research data. Portage was launched in May 2015.

– 30 –


Kelly Nolan
Executive Director, External Affairs
Directrice Administrative des Affaires Extérieures

(c) 819.598.2910

Chuck Humphrey
Director, Portage

(c) 780-492-9216