The Victorian eResearch Strategic Initiative (VeRSI) was the first State-funded initiative of its kind in Australia. The establishment of VeRSI follows on the heels of the former Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) decision to commission the then Australian eResearch Coordinating Committee to undertake a comprehensive review of eResearch and to recommend how Australia, cognisant of efforts elsewhere, such as the UK eScience Programme, could coordinate a national eResearch initiative.
One of the recommendations of the Committee was the foundation of an eResearch Centre consisting of a coordinating body and six state-based nodes to facilitate the transfer of eResearch methodologies to the research community.
The government of the State of Victoria, through Multimedia Victoria, had been thinking along similar lines and in 2006 announced funding for VeRSI as part of its Life Science Statement. VeRSI was set up in the same year as an AU$8m-funded eResearch programme running over 5 years (2006-2011). Its primary aim is to accelerate and coordinate the uptake of eResearch in universities, government departments and research organisations within the State of Victoria and to inform, through exemplars, other programmes in Australia and abroad.