NSF Proposal Deadline: Big Data Regional Innovation Hub Program

NSF Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering

Event Type: Deadlines

When: 25 February 2016

Where: Online

Find out more: 


In 2012, the Administration announced the National Big Data Research and Development Initiative to address some of the Nation's most pressing R&D challenges in extracting knowledge and insights from large, complex collections of digital data. To this end, NSF's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) initiated the National Network of Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs (BD Hubs) program to foster multi-sector collaborations among academia, industry, and government. Four BD Hubs have been established, one each in the Midwest, Northeast, South, and West regions of the country (see Introduction for regional definitions). The BD Hubs are expected to serve a convening and coordinating role—helping to bring together a wide range of Big Data stakeholders in order to connect solution seekers with solution providers.

This Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs: Establishing Spokes to Advance Big Data Applications (BD Spokes) solicitation extends the BD Hubs network by establishing multi-institutional and multi-sector collaborations (i.e., across academia, industry, government, non-profits, etc.) focused on topics of specific interest to a given region, which build upon the capabilities and strengths of said region. Working in concert with the corresponding regional BD Hub, a BD Spoke would work on a particular topic that requires Big Data approaches and solutions. Each BD Spoke would function similar to a BD Hub—in that it will take on a convening and coordinating roll as opposed to primarily carrying out research—but with a narrower and goal-driven scope. The set of activities managed by a BD Spoke would ensure that progress is made toward providing solutions in the chosen topic area, including, for example, gathering important stakeholders via forums, meetings, workshops, etc.; engaging with end users and solution providers via competitions, community challenges, etc.; and forming multi-disciplinary teams to tackle questions no single field can solve alone. The regional BD Hub Steering Committee will provide general guidance to the BD Spoke and assist the BD Spoke in coordinating with the national BD Hub network, other BD Spokes, and the broader innovation ecosystem.

The Big Data activities of a BD Spoke will be guided by the following broad themes:

Accelerating progress towards addressing societal grand challenges relevant to regional and national priority areas;

  • Helping automate the Big Data lifecycle; and
  • Enabling access to and increasing use of important and valuable available data assets, also including international data sets, where relevant.

This solicitation covers one aspect of NSF's overall Big Data R&D portfolio, which includes: research; infrastructure development and provisioning; education and workforce development; and community engagement. Prior to preparing a proposal in response to this or any other Big Data-related solicitation, applicants are strongly encouraged to review the solicitation requirements and consult with cognizant NSF program officers to determine appropriateness of fit. For example, this solicitation funds the formation of BD Spokes, as well as planning grants for future BD Spokes proposals, which will primarily carry out collaboration and partnership building activities, and will require a topical and collaborative linkage with a specific BD Hub. This solicitation is not meant to fund proposals where fundamental research is the primary activity. If research is a substantial portion of the proposed activities, please consult with the cognizant NSF program officer of this solicitation. For example, the NSF Critical Techniques and Technologies for Advancing Foundations and Applications of Big Data Science & Engineering (BIGDATA) solicitation may be more relevant for those seeking basic research funding in Foundations and Innovative Applications related to Big Data. Similarly, basic privacy research proposals would be more suited to NSF’s Secure And Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program.

All proposals to this solicitation must include a letter of collaboration from a BD Hub coordinating institution. Any proposals not including a letter of collaboration from a BD Hub coordinating institution will be returned without review. No exceptions will be made.

Find out more: