DARA Big Data: Colombia

  • Thompson, Mark (PI)
  • Sarzi, Marc (CoI)
  • Geach, Jim (CoI)

Project: Other

Project Details


The Newton program proposed here will use the big data challenge of next generation scientific facilities, such as the SKA, to build capacity for dealing with large data sets as a vehicle for transfer of knowledge and innovation to other research domains. The science-driven data-intensive research and training program will develop solutions for data-intensive infrastructure, covering data distribution and movement technologies, e-science tools, application interfaces, visualization and visual analytics, discovery techniques such as data mining, machine learning, etc. by fostering the development of an international cohort of researchers with the skills, links and contacts to operate in the global research environment through international training and development activities.

The proposed program will provide funding for 6 MSc studentships for Colombian students in the UK. These are matched with a further 6 MSc studentships in Colombia provided by CAOBA and BIOS, the Colombian partners for this proposal. All students will have joint UK & Colombian supervision. The UK proposal also includes funding for a network meeting of the academic partners in preparation for the commencement of student recruitment, as well as a network summer school in Colombia in 2018. The matched funding includes provision of dedicated HPC resource from the BIOS consortium.

The objectives of this program are linked to the UN Global Goals:

Objective 1: Skills Development (UN Global Goal 4)

This program will provide training for 6 students to an MSc level. Projects will be organised under three research themes with one half of students working on radio astronomy focused projects and one half of students working on projects across a wide range of other domains such as healthcare, climate change, sustainable agriculture, disaster management, social data, smart cities etc. In this first instance of the program we will specifically target healthcare and sustainable agriculture/food security. These target translation areas reflect existing expertise in the STFC Food Network+ and ongoing collaborations with medical physics groups. By running projects with multi-disciplinary impacts in parallel under common data science and big data themes we intend to maximise the translation of expertise across different fields. Students on fellowships will be allocated joint UK-Colombia supervision and will be expected to interact in country with their second supervisor. These visits are intended to expose students to different working practices and environments and to increase their transferable skill set.

Objective 2: Proof of Concept (UN Global Goal 8)

The MSc projects conducted as part of this program not only have the potential to provide direct data science solutions, but will also act as proof of concept studies for developing a wider data science economy in Colombia. A key element of on-ramping industrial users of data science and big data solutions is demonstrating the value of these actions. Whilst the big data nature of the SKA project is clear, the translation of the expertise developed as part of the project to wider areas is less tangible. The parallel projects developed under this Newton program will illustrate the utility of these skills across a diverse range of applications and accelerate market engagement in HPC and big data.

Objective 3: A Coherent Approach to Big Data Tools and Systems (UN Global Goal 9)

There is a need for a forum that brings together the big data requirements of nations and organisations. This Newton program will provide training in Open Innovation and Open Science methodologies in order to promote a coherent approach to big data tools and systems that will accelerate economic growth and maximise translation from academic research to industrial impact.
Short titleDARA Big Data: Colombia
Effective start/end date1/04/1831/03/19


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