Big Data Spokes: South Hub Submission Guidelines


The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced a call for Big Data Spoke proposals through the program solicitation “Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs: Establishing Spokes to Advance Big Data Applications (BD Spokes).” The South Big Data Hub is accepting requests for Letters of Collaboration from PIs in our region.

To read the program solicitation (NSF 17-546), visit the program solicitation page at

For an overview of the program, visit the program page at

Key Deadlines:

June 19, 2017: Deadline to request a letter of collaboration from the Big Data Hubs.

See the Submissions section below for more information about submitting your request. Proposals that receive letters of collaboration should then be sent to the host institution of the PI, which is responsible for selecting one to submit to the NSF. Per the solicitation:

An organization may participate as submitting organization (or, in the case of collaborative proposals, as the lead organization) for at most one proposal responsive to this solicitation.

Proposal submissions are limited to 1 per organization (except as non-lead in a collaborative proposal) to maintain a balanced geographic representation of the Regional Hubs and Spokes program and to increase diversity of participating institutions.

September 18, 2017: Deadline to submit full Spoke proposals to NSF, which must include a letter of collaboration from a Big Data Hub.


You may submit a request for a Letter of Collaboration from the South Big Data Hub at

Proposals which do not fall within the South region, per the instructions below, should be submitted to the appropriate Big Data Hub via their websites, listed at the bottom of this page.


  1. Determine the Hub to which your project is associated. This is determined by the institution of the lead Principal Investigator. i.e. If the lead PI on a collaborative proposal is from Virginia Tech, the proposal would be submitted to the South Hub (no matter the locations of other collaborators).
MIDWEST: This region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
NORTHEAST: This region includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
SOUTH: This region includes Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
WEST: This region includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
  1. To request a Letter of Collaboration from the South Big Data Hub, fill out the form at

  2. Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Hub reviews will focus on “fit and feasibility.” That is, we will consider how a given project fits or aligns with the thematic or priority areas of interest in our region, and how feasible the proposed coordination with the Hub is based on availability of resources. NSF priority areas listed in the Solicitation are welcome, but not limiting in the scope of projects that will be considered. In other words, all current Hub Spoke and Ring areas and suggestions for projects in new areas will also be welcome.

Please email with any questions about submissions. Contact information for the other Big Data Hubs is provided below.

Leveraging the OGC Innovation Program to Advance Big Data Spokes


By Luis Bermudez, Executive Director, Open Geospatial Consortium Innovation Program

The National Science Foundation (NSF) currently has an open program solicitation that seeks to establish more ‘Big Data Spokes’ to advance big data applications. Like the BD Hubs, the BD Spokes provide a regional coordinating role but focus on narrower topic areas, such as applications that address the acquisition and use of health data, or data science in agriculture. In addition to its topic area, Spokes are driven by three themes: 1) advancing solutions towards a grand challenge; 2) automating the big data lifecycle; and 3) improving and incentivizing access to critical data.

Using the Open Geospatial Consortium’s (OGC) Innovation Process could help Big Data Spokes advance a solution to better integrate and run analytics on data sets using technologies that are not only freely available and open, but also maintained by an established Standards Development Organization (SDO). OGC also has various domain working groups currently advancing solutions that would complement the work done in Big Data Hubs.

The OGC is an international voluntary SDO that provides a broad interface with over 500 industry, government, academic, and research organizations engaged in advancing standards to improve geospatial interoperability. OGC’s standards are implemented in hundreds of products to improve the discovery, sharing, access, fusion, and application of location-based information. In addition to its proven consensus process for advancing open standards, OGC – via its Innovation Program – provides a venue in which to prototype in an agile, collaborative environment. It has developed more than 90 initiatives in the last 17 years.

OGC’s Innovation Program Initiatives have helped advance technology solutions that deal with important challenges, such as those rising from continued population growth. Most recently, OGC’s Future City Pilot Initiative created technologies that aid in providing adult health services using multi-source data analytics (you can learn more in this five-minute video on OGC’s Future City Pilot).

An OGC initiative could help prototype and design a solution for Big Data Spokes, based on open standards, that could be further implemented in a Data Hub. An OGC initiative has five phases:

  • Phase 1 – Concept Development: OGC gathers requirements and proposes an initial systems architecture.
  • Phase 2 – Call for Participation (CFP): OGC publicly invites industry and non-industry organizations worldwide to participate in the initiative to develop the components of the architecture.
  • Phase 3 – Team Formation and Kick-off: The OGC evaluation team selects participants. Selected participants meet face to face at the initiative kick-off meeting to coordinate on the development, testing, and demonstration process.
  • Phase 4 – Execution: Participants engage virtually through frequent teleconferences, virtual meetings, and email exchanges to discuss progress and to identify and resolve issues.
  • Phase 5 – Reporting, Demonstration and Outreach: Technology demonstrations occur at the end of the initiative to showcase the major accomplishments. Engineering reports and other artifacts are written that identify and summarize the resulting technologies.

The completion of such an initiative would result in a proven solution that can be implemented in a Big Data Hub to help automate big data lifecycles, and support, for example, smart cities or health-related challenges.

If you want to learn more about how to partner with OGC for the NSF Big Data Spokes or other solicitations, please contact Luis Bermudez, Executive Director of the OGC Innovation Program (lbermudez at

NSF BIGDATA and BDHubs Joint PI Meeting: a student’s perspective

Lucy D’Agostino McGowan

This post can also be found on Lucy’s blog

This summer I was funded by the South Big Data Hub’s DataStart program to intern at a local startup. Through this opportunity, I met the co-executive director Dr. Lea Shanely, who invited me to attend Hub’s annual Principal Investigator (PI) meeting if I agreed to blog about it (easy sell!). The goal of the 2017 Joint PI Meeting was to gather PIs who are funded through the NSF’s BIGDATA research program and Big Data Hubs and Spokes programs, along with industry and government invitees, to discuss current research, identify challenges, and examine promising opportunities and future directions of data research and education. Continue reading