Taonga: Building a data repository for genomics research in New Zealand
Genomics Aotearoa and NeSI formed a partnership in 2018 to support the computational needs of genomics researchers, with NeSI providing high performance compute and storage capabilities. Over the past two years the partnership has broadened to include the management of research outputs, with indigenous data sovereignty being a key driver for onshore hosting of genomic data sets.
In 2019, NeSI undertook a repository discovery project, building a locally managed Globus platform, which provided high speed transfer and a secure, role based access control for a small number of genomics files. In 2020, with more datasets on the horizon, Genomics Aotearoa and NeSI initiated a capability development project to design a solution that would enable researchers to securely store, archive and share genomic data from taonga species through a NZ-based portal with customised search, browse, and access functionality. The data repository prototype was built using Gen3, an open source genomics repository solution developed by the University of Chicago in partnership with the US National Cancer Institute.
The discovery and development process included end user workshops to identify researchers' needs; in particular, functionality and metadata requirements that could support FAIR and CARE data principles, and the fundamental requirement to support managed access and governance of taonga species data in line with the principles of Maori Data Sovereignty.
The aim of this BoF is to introduce the work that has been done so far, and to open up the discussion for future challenges and opportunities around managing research data in New Zealand. Some of the known challenges include supporting FAIR and CARE principles, handling of security and privacy, especially with sensitive data. centralised vs distributed repository infrastructure & funding, discovery of data hosted offshore, and provision of analysis and visualisation tools close to the data.