iVEC was established in June 2000 as an unincorporated joint venture among Central TAFE, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Curtin University and The University of Western Australia (UWA). The Government of Western Australian was a major supporter of the venture, contributing $2 million cash that leveraged $1 million of Commonwealth funding through iVEC becoming a partner in the Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing (APAC). The iVEC partners also contributed $1 million. The Premier of Western Australia officially opened iVEC in May 2002.
A bid for a further three years of funding was submitted to the State Government in early 2005, with the joint venture partnership expanded to include Murdoch University. The Premier of Western Australia announced in July 2005 that $3.1 million of State Government funds had been allocated to continue funding iVEC, in addition to almost $1.3 million from the partners and $1.2 million from APAC. This large commitment was used to leverage $2.4 million of additional cash from the Australian Research Council (ARC), UWA and CSIRO, which was all spent on supercomputing hardware.
In May 2006, the State Treasurer, The Hon. Eric Ripper, announced that the WA Government had set aside $1.95 million per year over the next four years for iVEC. The iVEC partners, with Edith Cowan University joining and Central TAFE withdrawing, agreed to contribute nearly $1.9 million over the same period. This put iVEC in an excellent position to leverage funding through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) Platforms for Collaboration (PfC) capability. This has resulted in iVEC playing a significant role in the three major activities in PfC; iVEC is a Partner in the National Computing Infrastructure (NCI) and a host for some Australian National Data Service (ANDS) staff.
As part of its Super Science Initiative announced in the May 2009 budget, the Commonwealth Government allocated $80 million over the financial years 2009/10 to 2012/13 to iVEC to establish a petascale supercomputing facility (the Pawsey Centre) located at the Australian Resources Research Centre in Perth. These monies are from the Education Investment Fund and are available only for the creation or development of research infrastructure. The WA Government has subsequently agreed to fund iVEC through its Research Facilities Program to the end of 2014 at ~$4 million per annum, which will primarily pay the salaries of our expert staff. Finally the iVEC partners have agreed to fund the significant operational costs of running the petascale supercomputer and associated data storage and networking.
In December 2010, iVEC was declared a Centre of Expertise – High Performance Computing by the Australian Computer Society.