The National Integrated Cyber Infrastructure System (NICIS) is a national initiative of the Department of Science and Technology implemented by the CSIR. NICIS promotes scientific and industrial development through the provision of high performance computing capability, high speed network capacity and a national research data infrastructure integrated hierarchically into globally connected systems and into local system systems, and providing seamless access for the research and teaching community.
NICIS aims to integrate national cyberinfrastructure to more effectively support and advance e-research. However, NICIS is emphasized as an initiative that includes the technologies, structures and activities necessary to support the fruition of a vibrant and competitive national digital economy. The cyberinfrastructure components of NICIS comprise the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC), South African National Research Network (SANReN) and the Data Intensive Research Initiative of South Africa (DIRISA).
The Data Intensive Research Initiative of South Africa (DIRISA) implements services that enable sound data management practices and that support more efficient data-driven scientific and engineering discoveries. Part of the contractual remit of DIRISA is to implement a Certified Tier 1 (national) Trusted Repository for research data and to operationally deploy and maintain data services and virtual research environments that enable researchers to leverage this ICT platform for data intensive research. DIRISA is also tasked to initiate the establishment of federated Tier 2 (regional) data repositories that support thematic data intensive research and capacity development.As part of its capstone coordination function, DIRISA is required to formulate national strategic frameworks for data intensive research and data stewardship; as part of its role to advocate and promote research data sharing and sound data management, DIRISA is developing data management policies in cooperation with stakeholders, and provides support to institutions on implementing data management plans.