Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs (BD Hubs)
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In March 2012, the Administration announced the National Big Data Research and Development Initiative, which aims to solve some of the Nation’s most pressing R&D challenges related to extracting knowledge and insights from large, complex collections of digital data. As part of this initiative, the Administration encouraged multiple stakeholders including federal agencies, private industry, academia, state and local governments, non-profits, and foundations, to develop and participate in Big Data research and innovation projects across the country.
To augment ongoing activities and to ignite new Big Data public-private partnerships across the Nation, NSF’s Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) is seeking to establish a National Network of Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs (BD Hubs). Each BD Hub would be a consortium of members from academia, industry, and/or government. This solicitation aims to establish four Hubs across distinct geographic regions of the United States, including the Northeast, Midwest, South, and West, as defined later in the Program Description section. Each BD Hub should focus on key Big Data challenges and opportunities for its region of service. The BD Hubs should aim to support the breadth of interested local stakeholders within their respective regions, while members of a BD Hub should strive to achieve common Big Data goals that would not be possible for the independent members to achieve alone.
To foster collaboration among prospective partners within a region, NSF is sponsoring a series of regional, intensive, one-day workshops (called "charrettes"). One charrette will be held in each geographic region to convene stakeholders, explore Big Data challenges, and aid in the establishment of that consortium. For more information on these charrettes, see the following webpage: http://www.usenix.org/BDHubs15. To facilitate discussion among interested parties, a HUBzero community portal has been established at http://bdhub.info. Interested parties may leverage this portal to communicate with members within their region or other stakeholders nationwide.
This solicitation is the first of a multi-phase process meant to develop a National Network of BD Hubs. The first phase will set up the governance structure of each BD Hub's consortium of members as well as develop approaches to ensure cross-hub collaboration and sustainability over the long term. The next phase will focus on building out various sectors of particular interest to each BD Hub (e.g., transportation, smart cities, health, energy, public safety, and education) so as to advance sector innovation in that region. The final phases will focus on connecting the BD Hubs and their regional sectors into a national Big Data innovation ecosystem.
This solicitation is part of NSF's Big Data program, which includes: research and infrastructure development; education and workforce development; and multi-disciplinary collaborative teams and communities that address complex science and engineering grand challenges. Before preparing a proposal in response to this or any other Big Data solicitation, applicants are strongly encouraged to review those solicitations and consult with cognizant NSF program officers to determine appropriateness of fit. For example, this solicitation funds the establishment and coordination of a BD Hubs National Network, but is not meant to be a source of funding for new research. By contrast, the BIGDATA solicitation may be more relevant for research funding.