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 co-executive directors at 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 500 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.


A community-based education working group assists the hub in developing and administering services for our members, engaging across all of the hub’s activities to create resources and map assets pertaining to data science education. The South Hub also pursues support to fund and create education programs. Recently, with the Computing Community Consortium, the hub launched the DataStart internships for graduate students, the Program to Empower Partnerships with Industry for early career faculty, 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, 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: High impact applications of data science in precision medicine, health analytics, and health disparities.
  • Energy: Concrete applications of analytics and machine learning to improve our nations energy production and smart grid.
  • IoT and Smart Cities: 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.
  • Advanced Materials and Manufacturing: Access to data infrastructure for creating new materials for advanced manufacturing in every state.
  • Privacy and Security: Best practices across sectors to ensure private, secure, and ethical data sharing, reporting, and use.
  • Environment and Coastal Hazards: Prevention and enhanced response to natural and human-induced environmental hazards.



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.