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White House Shares $200 Million Big Data Plan

InformationWeek (03/29/12) Nicholas J. Hoover

The Obama administration announced plans to spend $200 million on a big data initiative for research and development into technologies for accessing, storing, visualizing, and analyzing massive and complicated data sets. The initiative includes commitments from several federal agencies to develop technologies that manipulate and manage big data. “While the private sector will take the lead on big data, we believe that the government can play an important role, funding big data research, launching a big data workforce, and using big data approaches to make progress on key national challenges,” says Office of Science and Technology Policy director John Holdren. The U.S. agencies working on the initiative include the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Energy, and the U.S. Geological Survey. NSF and NIH will award up to $25 million in funding for as many as 20 research projects designed to advance core scientific and technological means of managing, analyzing, visualizing, and extracting information from large data sets. Meanwhile, DoD plans to spend about $250 million annually on the XDATA program, which aims to develop computational techniques and software tools for analyzing large, unstructured data sets.

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