Critical.
Authoritative.
Strategic.
Subscribe to CIO Magazine »

White House launches big data R&D push

NSF and DARPA are among the agencies looking to harness the power of large volumes of data

Six U.S. government agencies will spend more than US$200 million to help the government better organize and analyze large volumes of digital data, in a new "big data" research and development effort announced by President Barack Obama's administration Thursday.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy's (OSTP's) Big Data Research and Development Initiative will focus on building state-of the-art technologies to collect, store and manage huge quantities of data. OSTP wants to use the technology to accelerate discovery in science and engineering fields and improve national security and education, the White House said.

Among the new research is a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) effort, which costs about $25 million a year, to develop methods to analyze large volumes of data, including unstructured data such as text documents and message traffic.

"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, 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," John Holdren, director of OSTP, said in a statement.

The IT industry has been buzzing about the use of big data in recent months, and the U.S. government collects and holds massive amounts of digital data. Universities and private companies can join the White House effort to explore the benefits of big data, Tom Kalil, OSTP's deputy director for policy, wrote in a blog post.

"We also want to challenge industry, research universities, and nonprofits to join with the administration to make the most of the opportunities created by Big Data," he wrote. "Clearly, the government can't do this on its own. We need what the president calls an 'all hands on deck' effort."

Some companies are already sponsoring big data competitions, and universities are creating courses to train a new generation of data scientists, Kalil added.

Agencies involved in the new initiative include the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Energy, the White House said in a press release.

Among the new projects at the NSF are a $10 million project based at the University of California, Berkeley, that will explore three approaches for turning data into useable information, machine learning, cloud computing and crowd sourcing.

The NSF will also provide grants to support EarthCube, a project to allow geoscientists to access, analyze and share information about the planet.

The DOD will spend about $250 million a year, including $60 on new research projects related to big data. One DOD goal is to harness big data in ways that can lead to autonomous robotic systems.

The DOD will announce a series of big data prize competitions in coming months, the White House said.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

More about: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, IDG, Technology
References show all

Comments

Comments are now closed.
Related Whitepapers
Latest Stories
Community Comments
Latest Blog Posts
Whitepapers
  • Empowering Modern Finance - The CFO as Technology Evangelist
    The CFO as Technology Evangelist is a research report commissioned by Oracle and Accenture, in collaboration with Longitude Research, that explores how modern CFOs and finance executives are adopting emerging technologies within their finance functions to enable the development of new capabilities and to transform the role of finance.
    Learn more »
  • Oracle Fusion Financials Cloud Service
    Modern organizations are under intense pressure to provide accurate, reliable, and speedy financial information to business decision-makers. Furthermore, complying with global standards has become more of a headache than ever before. How do you know if financial management in the cloud is right for you? This data sheet takes an inside look at Oracle Fusion Financials Cloud Service, exploring key product features as well as financial management benefits your organization can realize quickly, including: Lower transaction processing costs and fewer data entry errors; Automated financial processing; Effective management control; Real-time visibility to financial results; Improved compliance; and more Get everything you need to meet financial compliance and improve your bottom line.
    Learn more »
  • ERP Selection: Finding the Right Fit
    Finding a needle in a hay stack is hard, but the task pales in comparison to finding a specific needle in a pile of needles. Selecting the ideal Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution can feel just as daunting. ERP represents a serious investment for any organisation and is vital to future success. This report explores the strategies organisations are employing to find the right ERP fit that will give them the tools they need to thrive.
    Learn more »
All whitepapers
rhs_login_lockGet exclusive access to Invitation only events CIO, reports & analysis.
Salary Calculator

Supplied by

View the full Peoplebank ICT Salary & Employment Index