Australian Imaging Service (AIS): Building a national federation

Dr Ryan Sullivan1, Australian Imaging Service1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12, A/Prof David Abbott2,9, Michael Cartwright10, Dr Oren Civier2,8, Dr Thomas Close1,2, Mr Alasair Ferguson4, Dr Andrew Mehnert2,12, Dr Aswin Narayanan2,11, Mr Dean Taylor11, Mr Chris Williams6, Mr Craig Windell6, Mr Fang Xu1

1The University of Sydney
2National Imaging Facility
3Australian Research Data Commons
4Macquarie University
5Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation
6Queensland University of Technology
8Swinburne University
9The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health
10University of New South Wales
11University of Queensland
12University of Western Australia

Universities and clinical sites across Australia share common challenges in managing large volumes of imaging data, balancing patient privacy, and the value earned through secondary-use by trusted research communities. The Australian Imaging Service (AIS) will transform the imaging sector by leveraging institutional investments and providing enhanced data management and analysis. The distributed federation will consist of multiple institutional Trusted Data Repository (TDR) deployments linked with a federated search layer, common community practice, support for expanded data types, and a Trusted Tool Repository (TTR) ensuring ongoing ownership and accountability of data.

The 2020 project consists of 4 streams:

Building on independent but convergent initiatives, we are deploying standardized AIS nodes at USYD, Monash, MQ, QUT, UNSW, UQ, and UWA across commercial cloud, NECTAR, Pawsey, and on-premise infrastructure, built around XNAT. We aim to reach IRAP (Protected), HIPAA, and GDPR compliance to allow better integration with clinical systems.

Expansion of containerized pipelines will create larger toolsets for image analysis and QC, including a TTR, vetted by the National Imaging Facility.

Expansion of supported imaging modalities and open data formats to cover a wider research base.

Integration with key related platforms including CLARA for machine learning and REDCap.

We will present on our strategy and approaches, covering technologies, standards, clinical practices, containerization, and sustainability in order to facilitate discussion. We welcome new entrants into the federation along with input from potential user groups wishing to shape this national platform through the creating working groups around standard analysis, QC/QA, ethics, and ML.


Dr Ryan Sullivan is the Product Manager overseeing digital platforms for Characterization research at the University of Sydney. He sits across the Research Technology Group in ICT and the Operations team of the Core Research Facilities.

Ryan leads the Australian Imaging Service platform and works to bridge the research-clinical gap across all facets of characterization.

Recent Comments