The NIH Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation, and Sustainability (STRIDES) Initiative addresses the challenges associated with data storage and accessibility by establishing partnerships with commercial cloud service providers (CSPs) and harnessing the power of the commercial cloud in support of biomedical research. The initiative provides a mechanism for NIH biomedical researchers to access the most advanced computational infrastructure, tools, and services to accelerate research outcomes. A central tenet of the STRIDES Initiative is that data made available through these partnerships will incorporate standards endorsed by the biomedical research community to make data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR).
The STRIDES Initiative helps to address two goals of the NIH Strategic Plan for Data Science: modernize the biomedical data ecosystem and support a highly efficient and effective biomedical data infrastructure. Through the STRIDES Initiative partnerships, NIH will test and assess models of cloud infrastructure for NIH-funded datasets and repositories. CSPs will also work directly with NIH and its funded investigators to develop and test new ways of making large datasets and associated computational tools available and accessible by wider audiences. By broadening access to rich data sets, the STRIDES Initiative will advance opportunities for collaboration to explore methods and approaches that may advance NIH’s biomedical research objectives.
The STRIDES Initiative is managed by the NIH Office of Data Science Strategy and operated by the Center for Information Technology. The initiative stems from the New Models of Data Stewardship program within the NIH Common Fund.
The first STRIDES Initiative partnership was established with Google Cloud in July 2018; a second partnership was established with Amazon Web Services (AWS) in September 2018. Each CSP partner is working with its cloud distributor to establish billing relationships that will support NIH’s and NIH-funded investigators’ use of the respective cloud web services at a discounted rate. Both partnerships are enabling NIH to make high-value datasets more accessible to researchers, helping optimize technology-intensive research, and lowering the technical, administrative, and economic barriers for research.
Going forward, NIH plans to leverage different capabilities of these commercial cloud service providers, and those of any future partners, to further realize NIH’s research mission.
For more information on the STRIDES Initiative, please contact CIT_Cloud_Services@mail.nih.gov.
This page last reviewed on May 10, 2019