The IT leadership for the AIRI Institutes in La Jolla had a unique opportunity to meet with colleagues from Australia this week.
Greg and Stephen (last names excluded by request) from the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) in New South Wales, Australia are visiting a variety of institutions on the West Coast (UCLA, Stanford, and UCSF) to learn how American institutions are addressing research technology needs for their scientists. They chose to visit La Jolla because of the high concentration of research institutes in our community.
In addition to all the typical IT application development challenges, HMRI needs to address the reality that the scientists that participate in their research programs are actually the employees of affiliated universities or medical delivery organizations. Some AIRI institutes face similar challenges when we don't "employ" all the scientists (the VA research institutes immediately come to mind).
HMRI and the ~ 50 research institutes in Australia have many similarities to a typical AIRI institute. But there were key differences as well. And we found a common vision for our desire to support our researchers. We used those comparisons to set the stage for our discussions.
The La Jolla group included representation from The La Jolla Institute, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Sanford | Burnham | Prebys Discovery Institute, and The Scripps Research Institute. The discussions proved useful to all the participants as we discussed broad goals, data collection challenges, security protocols, underlying technology platforms, development vs buy decisions, vendors, and managing delivery expectations.
I want to personally thank each of the participants for their time, energy, thoughts, and creativity:
Pictured from left to right: Jim Berry, Brant Kelley, and Greg Benjamin (all 3 from Scripps), Greg (HMRI), Michael Scarpelli (LJI), Stephen (HMRI), and Frank Dwyer (Salk). Participating but not pictured were JC Ducom (Scripps), John Stillwagen (LJI), and Eric Hicks (SBPD).
The HMRI team was intrigued by the concept of the biannual AIRI IT meetings. Unfortunately, the timing of their visit precludes them joining us in Oklahoma City next month! They expressed the desire to duplicate this sort of collaborative participation among the Australian research institutes based on the AIRI model.
The HMRI team has promised to continue the discussions with us as they finish their tour of American universities and as they map their plans for comprehensive research supporting tools. We all look forward to continuing these discussions.