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Please distribute this information to your faculty and eligible PIs who may have an interest in submitting an application to this program


Limited Submission Funding Opportunity for Texas A&M Faculty and PIs


Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs (BD Hubs)

Accelerating the Big Data Innovation Ecosystem


Limited Submission Program (LSP): This funding opportunity and the Limited Submission Program (LSP) is open to all Texas A&M University faculty and principal investigators who meet the eligibility requirements. Texas A&M and The Texas A&M University System agencies jointly administer this process to select the proposal(s) that will be submitted to the sponsor in response to this solicitation.


Institutional Eligibility:  An organization may only submit one proposal. This limit holds across all regions defined in the Program Description.


PI Eligibility:  An individual may only serve as the PI or co-PI in at most one submission. In the event that an individual exceeds this limit, proposals received within the limit will be accepted based on the earliest date and time of proposal submission. Any other submissions will be returned without review. No exceptions will be made.


The proposal will be prepared and submitted by Sponsored Research Services (SRS).


Proposal Limit: 1


Summary:  The BD Hubs are meant to stimulate regional and grassroots partnerships focused on Big Data, such as the partnerships launched at the Data to Knowledge to Action event referenced above, and give rise to a national Big Data innovation ecosystem. Proposals submitted in response to this BD Hubs solicitation should be from organizations that are currently engaged in Big Data innovation activities. These organizations should have a history of leading or fostering collaborations among multiple Big Data stakeholders and must be ready to build further partnerships. This solicitation will support the formation and coordination of a BD Hubs National Network and is not meant to be a primary source of funding for new research.


NSF seeks to fund up to four BD Hubs in four defined geographic regions, namely the Northeast, Midwest, South, and West, of the United States.


Each BD Hub should focus on key challenges and opportunities in its region of service. Opportunities could include facilitating partnerships on overarching themes (e.g., privacy, data sharing, data stewardship, etc.), providing shared resources to the community (e.g., tools, infrastructure, testbeds, etc.) and/or coalescing around key topical themes (e.g., energy, transportation, healthcare). Potential activities for BD Hubs include, but are not limited to:

  • Accelerating the ideation and development of Big Data solutions to specific regional and/or societal challenges by convening stakeholders across sectors to partner in results-driven programs and projects;
  • Driving successful pilot programs for emerging Big Data technology by acting as a matchmaker between the various academic, industry, and community stakeholders;
  • Engaging stakeholders across the region, based on shared interests and industry sector engagement, to enable dialogue and share best practices, and to set standards for data access, data formats, metadata, etc.;
  • Increasing the speed and volume of technology transfer between universities, public and private research centers and laboratories, large enterprises, and small and medium-sized businesses;
  • Providing data resources of critical importance to the region such as a data steward or public trust service that validates and certifies privacy-sensitive data sets, infrastructure or other testbeds for small scale experimentation, and/or data tools relevant to the analysis needs of stakeholders; and
  • Facilitating engagement with opinion and thought leaders on the societal impact of Big Data technologies as to maximize positive outcomes of adoption while reducing unwanted consequences. Topical examples could include privacy or broadening participation.


The proposed BD Hub should aim to establish 20-30 new partnerships during the award period.


Each proposal must also foster efforts to educate and train the Big Data workforce in its region, such as data scientists, business managers, students, and end users. Example efforts could include, but are not limited to, new data science curricula, educational workshops open to the region, and hackathons or other competitions focusing on one or more Big Data challenge(s).


BD Hub proposals should describe explicit mechanisms for creating and fostering collaborations in their regions. Vehicles for such collaboration may include creation of seminar series (with ability for remote presentations and participation); regional working groups; and “visitor” and other exchange programs to cross-pollinate collaborations and activities across organizations.


Fostering of a sustainable innovation ecosystem is critical to a successful BD Hub. Each proposal must therefore address the sustainability of the BD Hub in the long term.


The proposing institution must establish a steering council. The steering council should consist of unpaid representatives from a subset of the organizations who are actively involved in the governance and agenda setting for the regional consortium as a whole. The composition of the steering council is encouraged to be representative of the diversity of interests in the proposed BD Hub’s membership, while also considering representation from underrepresented groups. It is anticipated that key decisions about a BD Hub’s activities will be made by its steering council. Additional organizations may also choose to partner with the BD Hub on specific activities, both at the BD Hub's inception and/or during the period of a BD Hub award. These so-called 'project partners' need not be members of the steering council if their focus is primarily on the specific activity rather than on the governance of the BD Hub. Project partners need not be located within a region to be engaged in the corresponding consortium, given that many organizations have a national scope and will therefore span multiple regions. However, the activities of a BD Hub are meant to support the unique data innovation challenges of the region it represents.

In addition, the proposing organization must establish a full-time, paid executive director position along with associated staff positions. These individuals will implement the decisions of the steering council and oversee day-to-day operations of the BD Hub.


The proposing organization should provide fiscal and implementation oversight to the BD Hub to ensure that BD Hub activities go forward in a way that addresses the interests of Big Data stakeholders in the region.


This solicitation is the first of a multi-phase process meant to develop a National Network of BD Hubs. The first phase will set up the governance structure of each BD Hub's consortium of members as well as develop approaches to ensure cross-hub collaboration and sustainability over the long term. The next phase will focus on building out various sectors of particular interest to each BD Hub (e.g., transportation, smart cities, health, energy, public safety, and education) so as to advance sector innovation in that region. The final phases will focus on connecting the BD Hubs and their regional sectors into a national Big Data innovation ecosystem.





April 8, 2015

Deadline for an email of intent including the title of the internal proposal and a one to three sentence description of the project. 


Send email of intent to

April 16, 2015

Deadline to submit an internal proposal.


All proposals for the LSP must be submitted electronically using the e-proposal on-line application system.


Be prepared to upload your internal proposal. The sections will include a one-three page research plan summary, two-page bio-sketch, and preliminary budget.


The e-proposal site is password protected. Texas A&M principal investigators may use their NetID and password to access the system. If you do not have a NetID, click HERE for help to activate your NetID. You will need your UIN and your date of birth.

If you have any questions, please contact: or 979.862.2233.


April 30, 2015

Target date for the notifications to PIs of the result of the internal competition.

June 24, 2015

Sponsor deadline for the full proposal (due by 5:00 p.m. proposer’s local time).



Internal Selection Procedures:

Texas A&M has established a procedure to identify limited submission opportunities and internally select proposals for Texas A&M submissions.  Please contact us if you have any questions about the limited submission process.