The ability to harvest the wealth of information contained in biomedical Big Data will advance our understanding of human health and disease; however, lack of appropriate tools, poor data accessibility, and insufficient training, are major impediments to rapid translational impact. To meet this challenge, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative in 2012.
BD2K Mission Statement:
BD2K is a trans-NIH initiative established to enable biomedical research as a digital research enterprise, to facilitate discovery and support new knowledge, and to maximize community engagement.
The BD2K initiative addresses four major aims that, in combination, are meant to enhance the utility of biomedical Big Data:
- To facilitate broad use of biomedical digital assets by making them discoverable, accessible, and citable.
- To conduct research and develop the methods, software, and tools needed to analyze biomedical Big Data.
- To enhance training in the development and use of methods and tools necessary for biomedical Big Data science.
- To support a data ecosystem that accelerates discovery as part of a digital enterprise.
Overall, the focus of the BD2K program is to support the research and development of innovative and transforming approaches and tools to maximize and accelerate the integration of Big Data and data science into biomedical research.
BD2K Program Management Working Groups:
Big Data potential and challenges in biomedical research cut across many domains. The project management working groups bring together individuals interested in supporting research and investigation into solutions to accelerate the translational impact of biomedical data science and to ensure a sound foundation for the future of biomedicine as a digital enterprise. These essential and dedicated groups gather information to support BD2K programmatic directions, analyze and interpret that information, propose and plan funding opportunities, shepherd grants through the review and funding process, and manage funded programs.
BD2K Organization & Coordination:
As a trans-NIH initiative, BD2K funding is provided by all of the NIH Institutes and Centers and the program receives additional support from the NIH Common Fund and the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. These stakeholders in the BD2K program represent their organizations on the BD2K executive committee and participate in BD2K program management working groups, which organize workshops and help to develop and manage BD2K grant programs. The contributions of these groups and individuals are vital to the success of the BD2K program.
Coordination of the BD2K program is provided by the NIH Office of the Associate Director for Data Science (ADDS). Further guidance on BD2K programmatic goals and activities is provided by the BD2K Multi-Council Working Group and the NIH Scientific Data Council.