NSF Adds $30M to BIGDATA Program; AWS, Google, and Azure Participate

By Staff

February 7, 2018

The National Science Foundation announced today it is providing nearly $30 million in new funding for projects through NSF’s Critical Techniques, Technologies and Methodologies for Advancing Foundations and Applications of Big Data Sciences and Engineering (BIGDATA) program. The awards are being paired with support from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure, which have each committed up to $3 million in cloud resources for relevant BIGDATA projects over a three-year period, beginning with this year’s awards.

A key goal of this collaboration, according to NSF, is to encourage research projects to focus on large-scale experimentation and scalability studies.

“NSF’s participation with major cloud providers is an innovative approach to combining resources to better support data science research,” said Jim Kurose, assistant director of NSF for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) in today’s announcement. “This type of collaboration enables fundamental research and spurs technology development and economic growth in areas of mutual interest to the participants, driving innovation for the long-term benefit of our nation.”

NSF says the collaboration with the technology industry through BIGDATA is vital, especially in the area of data science. The program isn’t brand new but the latest funding is. Here’s an excerpt from today’s announcement:

“In its first year, this collaboration is driving creative and principled approaches to address data management, modeling, and analysis of big data, and applying novel techniques to solve data-intensive domain science and engineering problems. Furthermore, NSF is actively seeking to expand this collaboration through a recently released Dear Colleague Letter…”

“The awards announced today are part of a portfolio of over $100 million in big data and data science research, education, and research infrastructure across the agency in Fiscal Year 2017. The 21 new BIGDATA awards support foundational elements of data science — the theories, techniques and methodologies that use big data to solve problems — as well as the innovative applications that are enabled by these foundational advances. Of these, eight will benefit from additional cloud credits and resources made possible by the new participation by cloud providers…”

“The awards NSF is announcing today are part of a portfolio of over $100 million in big data and data science research, education, and research infrastructure across the agency in Fiscal Year 2017. The 21 new BIGDATA awards support foundational elements of data science — the theories, techniques and methodologies that use big data to solve problems — as well as the innovative applications that are enabled by these foundational advances. Of these, eight will benefit from additional cloud credits and resources made possible by the new participation by cloud providers.”

Link to full NSF announcement: https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?org=NSF&cntn_id=244450&preview=false

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