January 25, 2022

NSF Awards $16 Million in Second Round Funding For Big Data Innovation Lab Network

From the West Big Data Innovation Hub:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is awarding a second round of funding for the four Big Data Hubs—organizations launched in 2015 to build and strengthen data science partnerships across industry, academia, nonprofits, and government.

Each of the hubs will receive $4 million over four years, for a total investment of $16 million. This is double the budget for the first round of Big Data Hubs awards made in 2015.

The Big Data Hubs connect innovators regionally to address scientific and societal challenges, focusing on data science activities and initiatives that inspire cross-sector collaboration and exemplify the need for multi-disciplinary approaches.  “By catalyzing partnerships that integrate academic researchers into the fabric of communities across the U.S., we can accelerate and deepen the impact of basic research on a range of societal issues, from water management to efficient transportation systems,” says Beth Plale, one of the National Science Foundation program directors managing the Big Data Hubs awards.

The West Hub will continue to be coordinated by UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, and the University of Washington, with Principal Investigators David Culler (UC Berkeley), Ed Lazowska (UW), and Michael Norman (UCSD), Executive Director and Co-Principal Investigator Meredith Lee (UC Berkeley), Deputy Directors and Co-Principal Investigators Christine Kirkpatrick (UCSD) and Sarah Stone (UW), and Co-Principal Investigator Bill Howe (UW).

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From the South Big Data Innovation Hub

The funding will continue support for the South Big Data Innovation Hub, an organization that helps 16 Southern States and the District of Columbia identify and utilize data science and engineering to address critical societal needs.


he NSF-supported data hubs play four key roles: (1) Accelerating public-private partnerships that break down barriers between industry, academia, and government, (2) Growing R&D communities that connect data scientists with domain scientists and practitioners, (3) Facilitating data sharing and shared cyber infrastructure and services, and (4) Building data science capacity for education and workforce development.

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From the Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub

Under the planned four year, $4 million award, the Midwest Big Data Hub will continue to be led from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The Hub’s priority focus areas will be co-led by five partner institutions in the region: Indiana University, Iowa State University, the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, and the University of North Dakota.

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From the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub

Under this new round of funding, the Northeast Hub will place an emphasis on mission driven projects that coordinate and stimulate translational data science.  For example, the Hub will work with its stakeholders on aggregating and helping to develop best practices for responsible data science; creating frameworks for data fluency; fostering better management of data security and privacy; integrating health data from traditional and novel sources; improving education through big data; and reducing barriers for data sharing within and between different sectors.

As a new service to the community, each Big Data Hub will maintain a seed fund for translational data science as part of its project budget. This fund will provide grants to pilot early feasibility studies for innovative new solutions to grand challenges of importance to the region

The Northeast Hub will also continue to collaborate with its six Big Data Spokes, project collaborations that focus on topics of specific interest to its region. The most recent Big Data Spokes were launched in 2018 ─ a collaborative platform for computational social science, data-driven discovery and rational design in chemistry, and a series of community workshops addressing data integration of the ecological long tail.

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See Also: BigDataHubs.org

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.