The AccessGrid Project

The Access Grid was "born" in November 1998 at the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) under the leadership of Rick Stevens (ANL) and Larry Smarr (National Computational Science Alliance (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

In August 2001 Pailthorpe and Willing built the first AccessGrid (AG) node in Sydney VisLab, Australia.

In 2002, Vislab was the first site to run an AG venue server external to ANL - the now well known Asia Pacific Access Grid (APAG).

Between 2004 and 2011, APAG services were run from the University of Queensland by the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF).

APAG activities were transferred to UQ's Research Computing Centre (RCC) at its inception in late 2011.

In 2012, stewardship of the Access Grid at large transferred to a loose consortium of interested developers and users, including the UQ RCC which now hosts the main Access Grid virtual venue server ( along with the APAG services.

There are currently more than 30 Access Grid nodes in Australia and more than 200 in the world.

The VisLab at UQ's RCC is involved in Access Grid software development (through the Sourceforge Access Grid project), installation and documentation, consulting and training on an international level.

Access Grid session
The VisLab Access Grid: watch a video (16MB) taken during a townhall meeting
or go to the photo/video gallery to get a sense of what the AG is.

For more information, please contact Chris Willing (c.willing at uq edu au).


VisLab was awarded a Special Research Initiative e-research grant by the Australian Research Council in August 2005. We will develop shared software applications (other than PowerPoint e.g. molecular chemistry viewers, GIS imaging) and shared file-systems to extend the AccessGrid beyond meeting scenarios, towards true collaborative working and to the enable incorporation of large data sets in the AG environment.