A new “Hub” for Big Data Innovation

Michael Franklin

The National Science Foundation has launched a new program creating four regional “Big Data Innovation Hubs”.   The goal is to foster collaborations among academic, government, industrial, and non-profit organizations to attack important societal problems where Big Data can help.   The regional aspect of the program is intended to focus collaborations on issues most relevant to particular parts of the country.  The 13-state West region Hub will initially focus on putting together efforts on managing natural resources and hazards, precision and personalized medicine, and urban environments.   We also will leverage and extend existing strengths in Big Data technologies and Data-Driven Science.

Berkeley has been chosen as one of the 3 co-leads of the West Region Hub and will be the home of the Hub’s Executive Director.   Dr. Meredith Lee recently joined Berkeley to serve in this role.   Meredith has tremendous expertise for this role, having most recently worked in Washington DC as a Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), focusing on topics such as graph analytics, risk assessment, machine learning, data visualization, and distributed computing.  There she worked with DHS organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Coast Guard, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as well as a number of the key groups in Washington that coordinate and promote research in Data Science and Big Data.   Meredith is the perfect person to lead this new effort.

Existing Berkeley research centers such as AMPLab and the Berkeley Institute for Data Science will participate in Hub efforts and I have signed on as the Principal Investigator from Berkeley.   The Hub will provide opportunities to bring in people from around campus to participate in new collaborations.   We will be posting more information and announcing workshops and other events as we work with our colleagues at SDSC, UW and elsewhere to get this project off the ground.

More information can be found in this UC Berkeley Press Release.