Accelerating the Big Data Innovation Ecosystem
NSF's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) initiated the National Network of Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs (BD Hubs) program in FY 2015 (NSF 15-562). Four Big Data Hubs (BD Hubs)—Midwest, Northeast, South, and West—were established, one in each of the four Census Regions of the United States. The BD Hubs provide the ability to engage local or regional stakeholders, e.g., city, county, and state governments, local industry and non-profits, and regional academic institutions, in big data research, and permit a focus on regional issues. These collaborative activities and partnerships play a critical role in building and sustaining a successful national big data innovation ecosystem.
This solicitation continues the operation of a national network of BD Hubs. It builds on demonstrated strengths of the program, which has grown to include a set of BD Spokes affiliated with the BD Hubs, and is responsive to the recent developments in data science. For instance, the recently released report on Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine exemplifies the urgency of multi-faceted education and training in data science. The BD Hubs will continue to nucleate regional collaborations and multi-sector projects, while fostering innovation in data science.
The NSF BD Hubs program is aligned with NSF’s Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) Big Idea, one of NSF’s 10 Big Ideas for Future Investment. HDR is a visionary, national-scale activity to enable new modes of data-driven discovery, allowing fundamentally new questions to be asked and answered in science and engineering frontiers, generating new knowledge and understanding, and accelerating discovery and innovation. The HDR vision is realized via a coordinated set of program solicitations resulting in an ecosystem of interrelated activities enabling (i) research in the foundations of data science; frameworks, algorithms, and systems for data science; and data-driven research in science and engineering; (ii) advanced cyberinfrastructure; and (iii) education and workforce development—all of which are designed to amplify the intrinsically multidisciplinary nature of the data science challenge. The HDR Big Idea will establish theoretical, technical, and ethical data science frameworks, and apply them to practical problems in science and engineering, and in society more generally.
Please note that this particular solicitation is not meant to be a source of funding for new research. Other funding opportunities relevant to the NSF HDR Big Idea include, but are not limited to, Critical Techniques, Technologies and Methodologies for Advancing Foundations and Applications of Big Data Sciences and Engineering (BIGDATA); Cyberinfrastructure for Sustained Scientific Innovation (CSSI) - Data and Software: Elements and Frameworks; Resource Implementations for Data Intensive Research in the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (RIDIR); and Partnerships between Science and Engineering Fields and the NSF TRIPODS Institutes (TRIPODS + X).
 Census Regions map: https://www.census.gov/geo/reference/webatlas/regions.html.