Harvard, UChicago among collaborators on NIH data commons project

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The National Institutes of Health handed out 12 awards totaling $9 million to launch the pilot phase of its data commons initiative Nov. 6.

The NIH Data Commons will comprise a cloud-based space for biomedical researchers to access shared datasets and analytics tools. Under the four-year pilot phase, researchers from collaborating organizations like Boston-based Harvard Medical School and the University of Chicago will determine best practices for developing and managing the data commons.

During the pilot phase, researchers will evaluate methods to store, access and share biomedical data in the cloud, keeping in mind key capabilities related to data transparency, interoperability and security. The overarching goal of the pilot phase is to accelerate biomedical discoveries by making relevant data accessible to researchers.

"Harvesting the wealth of information in biomedical data will advance our understanding of human health and disease," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD. "However, poor data accessibility is a major barrier to translating data into understanding. The NIH data commons pilot phase is an important effort to remove that barrier."

To access the NIH's list of pilot phase awardees, click here.

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