Big Data Gets its Day

The announcement of the Big Data program was made at a conference titles “Challenges and Opportunities in Big Data”, jointly sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The Big Data initiative is a major research effort involving various US Federal agencies and over $200 million in funding. Big Data refers to large, diverse, complex, longitudinal, and/or distributed data sets generated from instruments, sensors, Internet transactions, email, video, click streams, and/or all other digital sources available today and in the future.

NSF and NIH will fund projects related to various aspects of the Big Data program. Applications will be submitted to NSF. After joint peer review, awardees likely to be funded by NIH will be asked to reformat their application and resubmit it for processing at NIH. Other agencies that participated in the Big Data announcement are the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the US Geological Survey, according to Brian Taylor on the Talkin’ Cloud blog.

NIH Director, Dr. Francis Collins, announced at the Big Data conference that the data set produced by the 1,000 Genomes Project – the world’s largest set of data on human genetic variation – is now publicly available on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud.

More information on the NSF and NIH Big Data initiative programs is available on these sites: NSF Big Data Announcement; NIH Big Data Announcement.

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