US: The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Networking and Information Technology R&D programme has introduced a slew of new big data collaboration projects aimed at stimulating private-sector interest in federal data. The initiatives, announced at the White House-sponsored “Data to Knowledge to Action” event, are targeted at fields as varied as medical research, geointelligence, economics, and linguistics.
The new projects are a continuation of the Obama Administration”s Big Data Initiative, announced in March 2012, when the first round of big data projects was presented.
Thomas Kalil, OSTP”s deputy director for technology and innovation, said that “dozens of new partnerships, more than 90 organizations,” are pursuing these new collaborative projects, including many of the best-known American technology, pharmaceutical, and research companies. Among the initiatives, Amazon Web Services and NASA have set up the NASA Earth eXchange, a collaborative network to provide space-based data about our planet to researchers in Earth science. AWS will host much of NASA”s Earth-observation data as an AWS Public Data Set, making it possible, for instance, to crowdsource research projects.
An estimated 4.4 million jobs are being created between now and 2015 to support big data projects. Employers, educational institutions, and government agencies are working to build the educational infrastructure to provide students with the skills they need to fill those jobs.