NSF awards $4M to Columbia's data innovation hub to advance research on data privacy, ethics

The National Science Foundation allotted $4 million to the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub, led by Columbia University's Data Science Institute in New York City, to expand its inter-industry data science partnerships and research.

According to Jeanette M. Wing, PhD, the hub's principal investigator and director of the Data Science Institute, "The new NSF grant will allow us to expand this work in two ways: first, by addressing cross-cutting themes on data privacy and data ethics, to ensure positive social impact; and second, by coordinating with the three other regional hubs toward a national network of data science institutions."

The hub was founded by the NSF in 2015 as one of four regional facilities across the U.S. for data-driven innovation. Since its founding, the Northeast Hub has partnered with more than 200 organizations to address issues in healthcare, education, energy and other areas. For example, one ongoing project is developing the first data warehouse combining environmental exposure with clinical data for large-scale health research.

"We're very excited to expand these activities," said René Bastón, executive director of the hub. "For our next phase, we'll be coordinating projects that build on the insights we gained during our first three years — enhancing data science capacity for underserved institutions and emphasizing translational data science."

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