Obama Administration Plans to Drop $200 Million on "Big Data" ResearchS

The White House announced today plans to better utilize the torrent of data produced by agencies like the departments of Energy and Defense. The administration intends to invest $200 million in developing systems to better share and dissect large bodies of information.

The Big Data Research and Development Initiative encompasses six federal agencies including DARPA, the National Institute for Health, and the National Science Foundation and will fund projects designed to "extract knowledge and insights from large and complex collections of digital data," according to a press release.

The projects selected for funding include,

  • The EarthCube, "a system that will allow geoscientists to access, analyze and share information about our planet."
  • A Department of Defense initiative to "improve situational awareness to help warfighters and analysts and provide increased support to operations" as well as "a 100-fold increase in the ability of analysts to extract information from texts in any language, and a similar increase in the number of objects, activities, and events that an analyst can observe."
  • the National Institute of Health's efforts to publish and host the the world's largest set of data on human genetic variation–1000 Genomes Project–on Amazon Web Services cloud.

"In the same way that past Federal investments in information-technology R&D led to dramatic advances in supercomputing and the creation of the Internet," said Dr. John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, "the initiative we are launching today promises to transform our ability to use Big Data for scientific discovery, environmental and biomedical research, education, and national security." [Office of Science and Technology Policy via The Verge - Image: The AP]