Big Data Innovation Hubs selected for NTIS joint venture partnership

joint-partners_1Partnerships called “a major milestone for the data economy”

The four Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs have been selected by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce to enter into a Joint Venture Partnership. Once finalized, this partnership will provide opportunities for collaborations between the Big Data Hubs and NTIS to deliver groundbreaking data projects across federal agencies.

Federal government agencies collect a superabundance of useful data concerning topics such as the economy, population, trade statistics, climate, and more. However, impactful innovation is constrained by barriers to effective data sharing, analysis, and solution-building. Through the NTIS Joint Venture Partnership, the Big Data Hubs will contribute to advancing federal big data priorities, including promoting U.S. economic growth and enabling operational excellence, by directly connecting federal agencies with data science experts to solve substantial challenges in delivering critical public services.

“These joint ventures mark a major milestone for the data economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in a Department of Commerce press release. “As America’s data agency, the Commerce Department is committed to making it easier for businesses, government, taxpayers and communities to access, analyze and use data to strengthen economic growth and create new jobs. I am confident the partnerships between NTIS and each selected organization will unlock new federal data that will leverage advances in data science, promote software development and accelerate innovation.”

The Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs are a consortium program established by the National Science Foundation in 2015, with a collective mission to accelerate data-driven innovation through public-private partnerships aimed at addressing societal challenges. Based in the four geographic Census regions, the Big Data Hubs are:

  • Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub, coordinated by Columbia University
  • West Big Data Innovation Hub, coordinated by University of California – Berkeley, University of Washington, and University of California – San Diego
  • South Big Data Innovation Hub, coordinated by University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub, coordinated by University of Michigan, Iowa State University, Indiana University, University of North Dakota and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“The Big Data Innovation Hubs and our partners are delighted by the opportunity to work with the NTIS and federal agencies to efficiently develop  innovative data products and services for the public good,” said Lea Shanley and Renata Rawlings-Goss, the co-executive directors of the South Big Data Hub, in a joint statement. “The Big Data Hubs can mobilize a growing data science community and partnerships with industry to harness the power of data to serve society.”

South Hub partners and resources that will play a role in the NTIS Joint Venture Partnership include the Georgia Tech Institute for Data Engineering and Science (IDEaS), a university-wide deep consortium of data science research that includes a federal contracting arm through Georgia Tech’s Research Institute; the iRODS Consortium, the software engineering group based at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) that develops and sustains the iRODS data management platform; and RTI International, the North Carolina-based nonprofit research organization that is home to many large data sets and data science experts.

Another South Big Data Hub partner,, will have its own Joint Venture Partnership with NTIS.

The Big Data Hubs were chosen following a rigorous merit review of proposals received in response to the Opportunity to Enter into a Joint Venture with the National Technical Information Service for Data Innovation Support, published in the Federal Register. An additional 34 NTIS JV partners were selected, including leaders in information technology and services such as IBM, HP, Deloitte Consulting, and SRI International.

About the South Big Data Innovation Hub

 The South Big Data Hub accelerates partnerships among people in business, academia, and government who apply data science and analytics to help solve regional and national challenges. The South Big Data Hub is part of a network of four regional Big Data Hubs launched by the National Science Foundation and funded in part by host universities and other partners. The South Hub serves 16 states and the District of Columbia—from Texas to Delaware—with more than 500 members from universities, corporations, foundations, and cities committing their support.