Data is the primary asset of biomedical researchers, and the engine for both discovery and translational medical research. As the volume and sensitivity of research data increases, for example due to new technologies such as ‘next-generation’ sequencing of human specimens linked to clinical datasets, so too does the requirement for access to application software for integrating and interrogating the different types of research data. Researchers often need to execute complicated queries and conduct analyses across multiple data types, such as phenotypic, genotypic, pedigree and biospecimen data.

The Ark project was established within the Centre for Genetic Epidemiology & Biostatistics at the University of Western Australia in late 2009 to develop an open-source platform to support Australian and International biomedical researchers. The objective of The Ark project is to provide a suite of secure, integrated web-based tools that incorporate the majority of the functionality required to conduct a complex study or clinical trial.

The University of Western Australia is proud to to be in partnership with the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) project to continue to develop The Ark application software for broad deployment to Australian and international researchers. The NeCTAR supported Cloud-based Bioinformatics Tool project was instigated with the goal of implementing additional functionality required by our collaborators and the majority of medical researchers currently undertaking data collection and analysis projects. 

The Cloud-based Bioinformatics Tools project is a collaboration between the Centre for Genetic Epidemiology & Biostatistics at The University of Western Australia, The Centre for Mega Epidemiology at Melbourne University, St John of God Hospital, The Clinical Oncological Society of Australia (COSA), and the OBiBA Project.

Upon completion of this project research groups around Australia and internationally will have the option of downloading the software and running it themselves or choosing to take advantage of hosting resources already in use by The Ark. The Ark will provide a technical support service for those institutions or research groups that choose to run a their own copy of the software.

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The Ark team gratefully acknowledges the use of the Navicat license. For more information, click here.