National Big Data Initiative: First Funding Opportunity Is for Core Techniques and Technologies

You may have seen the announcement from the Office of Science and Technology Policy on the new National Big Data Research and Development Initiative Exit icon. We hope you did!

This initiative is the result of a year-long, interagency effort to identify challenges and goals in extracting the most information and value from massive data sets. As co-chair of the initiative’s senior steering committee, I’m particularly excited about the potential of this collaboration to speed biomedical discoveries and innovations as well as to create educational and infrastructure resources. These are all areas that will benefit from the initiative’s first funding opportunity: Core Techniques and Technologies for Advancing Big Data Science & Engineering (BIGDATA) Exit icon.

This solicitation, issued jointly by the National Science Foundation and NIH, aims to accelerate improvements in scientific and technological approaches for managing, analyzing, visualizing and extracting useful information from large, diverse, distributed and heterogeneous data sets. Specifically, it will support the development and evaluation of technologies, tools and practices for data collection and management, data analytics and/or e-science collaborations.

BIGDATA will be administered by NSF, with NIH participating as a partner in the review process and selection of applications. Note that there are two different project options, each with different application deadlines: “Mid-scale” proposals of up to $1 million total costs per year for 5 years are due June 13, 2012; and “small-project” proposals of up to $250,000 total costs per year for up to 3 years are due July 11, 2012.

If you have an idea that may fit within the goals of this program, please see the frequently asked questions Exit icon and/or contact one of the program officers listed in the solicitation. You might also consider attending a webinar at 11 a.m. EDT on May 8 that NSF and NIH are hosting to help potential applicants better understand the scope of the solicitation. You can register Exit icon and submit questions in advance.

The broader initiative will ultimately include several other interagency programs to complement the core techniques and technologies solicitation, touching on domain-specific science challenges, workforce development and community challenges. So stay tuned for more funding opportunities in this arena!

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