National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Cyberinfrastructure (OCI)
Sponsor ID: NSF 12-557 (Re-issue of NSF 07-601, NSF 07-565)
Full Proposal Deadline Date: July 26, 2012 Conceptualization Track Full Proposal Deadline Date: August 30, 2012 Implementation & Interoperability Tracks
Abstract: Science and engineering research and education are increasingly digital and increasingly data-intensive. Digital data are not only the output of research but their analysis provide input to new hypotheses, enabling new … more »scientific insights, driving innovation and informing education. Therein lies one of the major challenges of this scientific generation: how to develop, implement and support the new methods, management structures and technologies to store and manage the diversity, size, and complexity of current and future data sets and data streams.
NSF's vision for a Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21) considers an integrated, scalable, and sustainable cyberinfrastructure as crucial for innovation in science and engineering (see http://www.nsf.gov/cif21). Data Infrastructure Building Blocks is an integral part of the CIF21 portfolio and seeks to provide support for the following research activities:
1. Conceptualization: Conceptualization awards are planning awards aimed at further developing disciplinary and interdisciplinary communities' understanding of their data storage and management requirements with the goal of developing an initial prototype. Any activity that brings the community together to address common problems, further refine requirements and avoid unnecessary and wasteful duplication of resources and efforts will be eligible for funding. Funded activities could include focused workshops, special sessions at professional meetings, focus groups, etc. The output of a conceptualization award will be design specifications for creating a sustainable data infrastructure that will be discoverable, searchable, accessible, and usable to the entire research and education community.
2. Implementation: Implementation awards will support development and implementation of technologies addressing a subset of elements of the data preservation and access lifecycle, including acquisition; documentation; security and integrity; storage; access, analysis and dissemination; migration; and deaccession. These data preservation and access technologies will enable science and engineering research, such that the scientific and engineering problems serve as use cases for data technology development.
3. Interoperability: Interoperability awards will develop frameworks that provide consistency or commonality of design across communities and implementation for data acquisition, management, preservation, sharing, dissemination, etc. This includes data and metadata format and content conventions, standardized constructs or protocols, taxonomies, or ontologies. The development of interoperability frameworks through community-based mechanisms provides a means for ensuring that existing conventions and practices are appropriately recognized and integrated, that implementation is made realistic and feasible, and, most importantly, that the real needs of the community are identified and met.
The Office of CyberInfrastucture (OCI) is partnering with Directorates and Offices across the foundation to support DIBBs, a program to develop data infrastructure usable by multiple scientific disciplines, recognizing these disciplines may vary in their current state of development. The goal of DIBBs is to foster cross-community infrastructure development that solves common problems, while building blocks of data infrastructure that can support and provide data solutions to a broader range of scientific disciplines while reducing duplicative efforts.
In particular, the Geosciences Directorate is interested in using DIBBs to support its EarthCube activities, seeking to develop data infrastructure building blocks needed across and beyond the geosciences community.