Washington D.C. – Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced $5 million to establish the Scalable Data Management, Analysis and Visualization (SDAV) Institute as part of the Obama Administration’s “Big Data Research and Development Initiative,” which was announced this morning and takes aim at improving the nation’s ability to extract knowledge and insights from large and complex collections of digital data. Led by the Energy Department’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the SDAV Institute will bring together the expertise of six national laboratories and seven universities to develop new tools to help scientists manage and visualize data on the Department’s supercomputers, which will further streamline the processes that lead to discoveries made by scientists using the Department’s research facilities.

“Scientific discovery in energy research and a wide range of other fields increasingly depends on effectively managing and searching large datasets for new insights,” said Secretary Chu. “The newly establish SDAV Institute takes on the important challenge of ensuring our nation’s talented scientists can analyze these large datasets and make the important discoveries that will shape our nation’s future.” 

The SDAV Institute will help scientists better extract insights from today’s increasingly massive research datasets by assisting researchers in using state-of-the art software tools for data analysis on these supercomputers – ranging from superfast search engines to sophisticated visualization software that enables researchers to literally picture and “see” complex relations among data points.  The Energy Department supports some of the world’s fastest supercomputers located at Argonne, Oak Ridge, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, which are used by scientists from a wide range of fields. Simulations running on the Department’s supercomputers have increased in size and complexity over time.

In addition to Berkeley Lab, the SDAV team includes experts from Argonne, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge and Sandia National Laboratories  as well as from the Georgia Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Rutgers University, the University of California at Davis and the University of Utah. Kitware, a company that develops and supports specialized visualization software, is also a partner in the project and will accelerate deployment of the technologies that the Institute develops into the private sector. Subject to congressional appropriations, the Department plans to make an additional $20 million available over the next four years to fully fund the Institute.

As part of the Administration’s “Big Data Research and Development Initiative,” six Federal departments and agencies today announced more than $200 million in new commitments that, together, promise to greatly improve the tools and techniques needed to access, organize, and glean discoveries from huge volumes of digital data. For more information, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/big_data_press_release.pdf.

For more information on the SDAV Institute, visit http://sdav-scidac.org/. For more information on the Department’s Office of Science, visit science.energy.gov.

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