Research, Development and Extension Data

The Australian grains industry’s capacity to remain competitive in the digital economy will be enhanced through its ability to harness the value of data, including Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) Data.

Through its investment in RD&E, GRDC invests in the creation of RD&E Data. The RD&E Data created through GRDC’s investment is a resource that holds value for creating enduring profitability for Australian grain growers.

To effectively manage this resource for the benefit of Australian grain growers, GRDC will:

  • ensure RD&E Data are used to drive innovation and accelerate RD&E outcomes;
  • encourage collaboration to extend the value of RD&E Data;
  • require RD&E Data to be secured and accessible;
  • require RD&E Data to be accurately collected, stored and maintained; and
  • support ongoing training and education in relation to RD&E Data management.

Managing data better is one of the four core frameworks in the GRDC RD&E Plan 2023-28 that underpins all of GRDC’s investments (see GRDC Data and Analytics Core Framework).

RD&E Data Management Principles – the FAIR principles

RD&E Data should be findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) to realise its maximum value.

A FAIR approach to the management of RD&E Data:

  • supports knowledge discovery and innovation both by people and machines
  • supports data and knowledge integration
  • promotes sharing and reuse of data
  • can be applied across multiple disciplines and help data and metadata to be reusable and machine readable
  • supports new discoveries through the harvest and analysis of multiple datasets and outputs.

Data collection and storage

GRDC will generally require GRDC Partners:

  • to collect RD&E Data and Primary Materials in accordance with legal, contractual, statutory, and ethical requirements, and discipline best practice.
  • to retain clear, accurate, secure, and complete records of all RD&E Data, Project Metadata and Primary Materials. This requirement is consistent with a requirement in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.
  • to store RD&E Data in Approved Repositories.
  • to have storage, security and privacy measures for RD&E Data that are proportional to the risks associated with the confidentiality and sensitivities of those data.
  • to take all reasonable steps to protect RD&E Data against misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure

GRDC will ensure RD&E Data are findable in the GRDC Data Catalogue.

More information for Research Partners is available on the Contracts and Templates page and in the GRDC RD&E Data Capture and Storage – Guidelines for Research Partners.

Data access and sharing

GRDC will require GRDC Partners to comply with reasonable restrictions and obligations on the sharing of RD&E Data, including those imposed by GRDC and others through contracts, licenses, permissions granted by data custodians and the requirements of privacy laws.

RD&E Data will be made as open as possible and closed as necessary: encouraging data-driven innovation; while safeguarding the privacy of participants, protecting confidential data and intellectual property, protecting sensitive data, and complying with any contractual obligations.

GRDC will seek to maximise dissemination and use of RD&E Data as determined on a case-by-case basis.

When accessing or using Third-Party Data, GRDC Partners must be transparent with the third parties about what data will be collected, used and generated in their projects, as well as the purposes for which it will be collected, used and shared in order to not infringe the rights of any third party or to breach any obligation of confidence owed to a third party.

GRDC will require GRDC Partners to comply with reasonable restrictions on the sharing of Third-Party Data used in GRDC projects, including those imposed by contracts, licenses, permissions granted by data custodians and the requirements of privacy laws.

Data Management Plans

GRDC will clearly communicate the requirements for GRDC Partners around RD&E Data including through contracts, Data Management Plans and the GRDC RD&E Data Capture and Storage – Guidelines for Research Partners Management.

GRDC Data Catalogue

GRDC manages hundreds of RD&E projects at any given time, most of which generate new data such as yield, soil, genetic, weather and other experimental data. To help make data generated through GRDC’s co-investments findable, the GRDC Data Catalogue is being developed. The GRDC Data Catalogue will house Project Metadata – data about data – from GRDC’s investments.

The data itself will be stored and managed by research partners, but it will be more findable through the singular portal of the GRDC Data Catalogue. The GRDC Data Catalogue will provide users with a one-stop searchable list of valuable data created in GRDC’s investments. It will house Project Metadata for data generated from current and historical GRDC investments.

Users will be able to search the GRDC Data Catalogue according to multiple criteria to help them locate RD&E Data, unlocking more powerful investment opportunities that build on GRDC’s existing data assets. The GRDC Data Catalogue is currently under development and its first tranche of Metadata will initially be populated as part of the GRDC Data Partnerships Initiative. Additional Metadata will be created and loaded to the GRDC Data Catalogue as Data Management Plans are developed and implemented across GRDC’s investment portfolio.

Data Partnerships Initiative

Managing RD&E Data is an area that is rapidly evolving in Australia. In this vein, GRDC are actively engaging with our research partners to build on their expertise with data management and to improve data management across the RD&E investment portfolio. A key element of this effort is GRDC’s investment with 12 research partners in an 18 month, $2.8M ($1.9M GRDC cash) Data Partnerships Initiative.

The Partners include:

The Data Partnerships Initiative is focussing on data discovery and organisational alignment.

The data discovery work involves locating and cataloguing valuable data generated from GRDC co-investments over the past 10 years with the research partners involved. The research partners are tracking down valuable datasets and ensuring that the data are stored safely in an approved research data repository and are findable through the GRDC Data Catalogue.

The organisational alignment work is using the foundations that already exist across the partners in RD&E Data management to build additional capability and value for the grains industry and the organisations. It has established a new community of practice in the management of RD&E Data in the grains industry. The organisational alignment aspect of the Data Partnerships investment also involves agricultural research data management experts Federation University working with the research partners and GRDC to improve data governance, storage, standards, vocabularies, and access for historical, current, and future data sets.

All the research partners are contributing collaboratively and individually to the Data Partnerships Initiative to improve RD&E Data management and consequently outcomes for the Australian grains industry.

GRDC Project Code: DJP2201-004RTX, CUR2206-001SAX, DAW2206-007SAX, FED2206-002SAX, UMU2210-002BGX, DPI2206-024BGX, DAQ2210-002BGX, UOA2210-002BGX, UOA2206-008SAX, UOQ2301-004BGX, UOS2208-001BGX, UWA2206-005SAX,