data in cloud

NSF pairs funding with cloud credits

The National Science Foundation announced $30 million in new awards for its Critical Techniques, Technologies and Methodologies for Advancing Foundations and Applications of Big Data Sciences and Engineering (BIGDATA) program.

Starting in 2017, NSF paired the BIGDATA funding with support from Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure to give researchers access to large-scale cloud storage, computing and analytics from cloud providers with proven track records. The three companies collectively contributed up to $9 million in cloud credits/resources for BIGDATA projects funded in Fiscal Year 2017.

The partnership also supports the mutual interests of NSF's Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate (CISE) and the cloud providers to accelerate big data and data science research and innovation.

Jim Kurose, NSF's assistant director for CISE, said the collaboration not only gives researchers access to large-scale cloud storage, computing and analytics, but also "enables fundamental research and spurs technology development and economic growth in areas of mutual interest to the participants, driving innovation for the long-term benefit of our nation.”

The smart-communities space, for example, could benefit from an infusion of cloud and data science resources to help local communities take advantage of  information coming from internet-of-things devices.

“We view the realm of machine learning to process information generated from IoT devices as long-term proposition,” Erwin Gianchandani, deputy assistant director of CISE, told GCN.  “We are marrying technologies that are continuously evolving to give researchers the ability to ask new questions based on technology capabilities.”

CISE aims to leverage the success of its initial partnership with the major cloud providers by expanding it to other programs beyond BIGDATA and enabling new partnerships among more cloud providers and the research community. Of the 21 new BIGDATA awards, eight will benefit from additional cloud credits and resources made possible by the new participation by cloud providers.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for GCN, covering cloud, cybersecurity and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Before joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, where she covered state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantasy sports. She has also written for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecom and cloud computing. Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at sfriedman@gcn.com or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.


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