About The Hub

The South Big Data Innovation Hub


Business, research, government, and individuals now create digital data at an unprecedented pace. However, the great challenge is how to harness these large, complex data sets and research findings into economic growth and positive impacts on people and communities. The South Big Data Hub accelerates partnerships among people in business, academia, and government who apply data science and analytics to help solve regional and national challenges.

The South Hub is part of a network of four regional Big Data Hubs, launched by the National Science Foundation and funded in part by host universities and other partners. Managed jointly by the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the South Hub serves 16 states and the District of Columbia—from Texas to Delaware—with more than 1000 members from universities, corporations, foundations, and cities committing their support.

The Hubs play four key roles:

  • Accelerating public-private partnerships that break barriers between industry, academia, and government.
  • Growing R&D communities that connect data scientists with domain scientists and practitioners.
  • Facilitating data sharing and shared cyber infrastructure and services.
  • Building data science capacity for education and workforce development.


The South Hub is building partnerships and working with experts and community leaders to spur the growth of groups focused on specific challenges. We are matchmaking and organizing workshops, roundtable meetings, meetups, newsletters, listservs, online communities with topical experts, and developing use cases. Leveraging the hub, we are rallying the right people and resources to address the most critical issues.


The South Hub supports multiple education and workforce programs, engaging across all of the hub’s activities to create resources and map assets pertaining to data science education. The DataUp program increases the capacity of southern schools to teach data science, particularly minority-serving institutions, community colleges, and 4-year liberal arts colleges. It was a direct outcome of the South Hub series  ‘Keeping Data Science Broad’, which collected feedback from data science programs across the nation. The Program to Empower Partnerships with Industry (PEPI-G) supports faculty, research scientists and students across the region in doing fellowships with Industry and Government partners. The hub also launched the DataStart internships for graduate students to work with startup companies, and a series of topical Industry-Academia workshops to launch new partnerships and big data-oriented communities in the areas of materials and manufacturing, energy, smart cities, and precision medicine.


The South Hub is leading a community effort to identify and map resources and assets to broaden data sharing for greater availability to application area research. It is also focused at several levels on enabling access to new data, technology, and data sharing mechanisms. It is partnering with cloud service providers, and NSF-funded cyberinfrastructure programs to facilitate distributed data sharing, computing, and analysis across institutions and partners, while protecting privacy and ensuring security.


Resources in support of collaboration and engagement are being applied by the hub in several research communities:

  • Health and Disparities: High impact applications of data science in precision medicine, health analytics, and health disparities.
  • Smart Cities and Communities: Collection and integration of data on infrastructure, sensors, and behavior to design efficient use of resources and services, and to achieve a higher quality, affordable lifestyle, as well as concrete applications of analytics and machine learning to improve our nations energy production and smart grid.
  • Advanced Materials and Manufacturing: Access to data infrastructure for creating new materials for advanced manufacturing in every state.
  • Environment and Coastal Hazards: Prevention and enhanced response to natural and human-induced environmental hazards.
  • Social Cybersecurity: Best practices across sectors to ensure private, secure, and ethical data sharing, reporting, and use.



Contact the hub team: info@southbdhub.org

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The South BD Hub was funded through the National Science Foundation’s Big Data Science & Engineering Program, Awards 1550305 and 1550291. For more information on the NSF BD Hub program, please view the original NSF solicitation.