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NSF 18-066

Dear Colleague Letter: Addition of IBM as a Cloud Resource Provider to the FY 2018 BIGDATA Solicitation

This document has been archived.

April 13, 2018

Dear Colleagues:

Through this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) wishes to notify the community that IBM has joined as one of the cloud resource providers for the fiscal year (FY) 2018 Critical Techniques, Technologies, and Methodologies for Advancing Foundations and Applications of Big Data Sciences and Engineering (BIGDATA) program solicitation(see for more information about the program).

As background, NSF announced last year the availability of a cloud option as part of the FY 2017 BIGDATA solicitation, with participation by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud (GCP), and Microsoft Azure. The cloud option enabled projects to request cloud resources in support of their big data research and education activities, especially focusing on large-scale experimentation and scalability studies.

This option remains in place for the FY 2018 BIGDATA solicitation, with AWS, GCP, and Microsoft Azure continuing their participation. Additionally, IBM has now joined the BIGDATA program as one of the cloud resource providers, under the same terms and conditions as applicable to all the other cloud providers. The corresponding terms and conditions are described in the FY 2018 BIGDATA program solicitation, available at

Proposers may use the following IBM resources to develop the total cost of cloud resources along with an annual usage plan over the duration of the projects:

As described in the solicitation, the request for cloud resources will be reviewed along with the rest of the proposal. Credits will be allocated either for the cloud provider requested in the proposal, or for equivalent resources from an alternative cloud provider.

Please read the entire solicitation carefully before preparing your proposal.

Please note that the submission deadline for the FY 2018 BIGDATA solicitation is May 7-14, 2018.

As noted in the program solicitation, the NSF BIGDATA program webpage located at will continue to be updated to list all cloud providers currently participating in the program. As of the date of this DCL, these are Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and now IBM.

Questions about the BIGDATA program solicitation, including the cloud option, should be directed to the cognizant program directors listed in the solicitation.

Jim Kurose
Assistant Director
Computer and Information Science and Engineering