Accelerating Cross-Sectoral Collaboration on Data in Climate, Education and Health

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1 Accelerating Cross-Sectoral Collaboration on Data in Climate, Education and Health A Workshop on Data Sharing and Emerging Data Collaboratives U.S. General Services Administration Building 1800 F Street, NW, Washington DC March 20, :00am - 4:15pm BACKGROUND NOTE Hosted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), The Office for Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), The Governance Lab (The GovLab/NYU) I. Rationale for the workshop: As social problems have grown in complexity and increasingly require new forms of expertise, governments and companies have begun exploring ways to be more datadriven and collaborative. One of the tools they have been turning to are data collaboratives that enable the sharing of public and corporate data. These crosssectoral collaborations use a variety of methods APIs, prizes, data pools to address some of the most pressing challenges we confront. Yet despite a growing enthusiasm for data sharing, there remains little consensus about best practices, and little insight on how data collaboratives can be used to enhance the public good. Companies and governments have limited knowledge about how to truly maximize the benefits of data sharing while minimizing its associated harms, such as potential threats to privacy and competition. True data sharing requires a deeper understanding and more extensive exploration of what works and what doesn t. It requires inter-sectoral discussion and collaboration. This workshop aims to provide the foundations for such research and collaboration by bringing together government agencies, companies, data scientists and academics. This diverse set of participants will harness various competencies and areas of 1

2 expertise to address existing knowledge gaps in the nascent field of data sharing. The focus of the discussion will be on the following issues: Existing mechanisms of cross sectoral data sharing Factors currently driving cross-sectoral data sharing (including incentives to participate in data collaboratives; the value and impact of sharing institutions and society-at-large; and methods and techniques for mitigating risks in data sharing) Legal dimensions of cross-sectoral data sharing (including an examination of existing legal conventions that govern data sharing) Best practices in forming and furthering data collaboratives The goal of the workshop is to identify and begin to address existing knowledge gaps for each of these areas. In doing so, the workshop will seek to deepen the value proposition of cross-sectoral sharing; foster greater participation and coordination among corporations and public organizations; and more generally enable the use of data and data sharing towards the greater public good. II. Invited participants: Government and agency officials, representatives from the private sector, data scientists, and experts. III. Structure and Agenda of the workshop: The workshop is designed to be collaborative and participatory, and output oriented. It is structured as follows: 9:00am Registration and Breakfast 9:30am 1:15pm: Morning session Opening remarks and keynote Initial lightning round of fast-paced presentations showcasing examples of cross-sectoral data sharing Industry-specific vertical workshops to discuss current practices and challenges (climate, education, and health) Lunch keynote address and discussion from public and private sector representatives 1:30pm 4:00pm: Afternoon session Cross-industry roundtable discussion on forming data collaboratives Industry specific vertical workshops to discuss case studies and examples, with a goal of identifying best practices Sharing of recommendations for maximizing the utility of data sharing while minimizing potential risks to stakeholders 2

3 The following questions will help guide and focus the sessions: Value: What is the value proposition of data collaboratives? Data and resources: What data and resources are being shared within existing data collaboratives? Incentives: What are the incentives for each stakeholder to participate in data collaboratives? Practices: What models exist to initiate data collaboratives? How is data sharing organized within collaboratives? Which stakeholders provide (1) access to data; (2) IT infrastructure; (3) capital investment; (4) technical expertise; and/or (5) human resource coordination? Legal dimensions of cross-sectoral data sharing: What are the existing legal conventions surrounding data sharing? What are the basic elements of sharing agreements that protect stakeholders and consumers? Risks and challenges: What are the costs of data collaboratives? What risks have been identified in data sharing within these collaboratives? Impact: What are possible metrics of success? What is known about the impact of data collaboratives? What value is being created? Appendix A: Examples of cross-sectoral data sharing and data collaboratives: Climate Data Partnerships: In March 2014, the Obama Administration launched the Climate Data Initiative with the goal of leveraging the government s data resources to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship in climate change. As a part of the President s Climate Action Plan, the Climate Data Initiative launches a number of significant commitments from federal agencies, private-sector collaborators and research institutions to combat climate change through data-driven innovation. Participating companies and organizations (such as Facebook, PepsiCo and Microsoft Research) have made commitments to creating new data platforms and organizing crosssectoral collaborations in data analysis and visualization. InBloom: Initiated through $100 million in seed money from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, InBloom aimed to store, clean and aggregate student data for states and districts, making standardized data available for third party applications and software. InBloom faced resistance from parents and educators over the collection, use and storage of personally identifiable information, causing many partners to back out of initial agreements. InBloom began winding down its services in April

4 NIH s Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Initiative: As biomedical datasets become increasingly large, diverse, and complex, they tax conventional methods of sharing, managing, and analyzing data. Additionally, researchers abilities to capitalize on biomedical big data science-based approaches are limited by poor data accessibility and interoperability, the lack of appropriate tools, and insufficient training. In November 2014, the NIH launched the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative as a trans-nih, community-enabled endeavor with the goal of maximizing the collective value of current and future biomedical digital assets. As stated in the November RFI, the aims of the BD2K initiative are 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 fully analyze biomedical big data; to enhance training in the development and use of methods and tools necessary for biomedical big data science; and to enable a data ecosystem that accelerates both basic and translational discovery as part of a digital enterprise. NOAA: In February 2014, NOAA issued a RFI to businesses and researchers in order to solicit ideas from the private sector on opening access to its 30 petabytes of annual environmental data sourced from satellites, radars, ships, aircraft, river gauges and weather forecast products. The February RFI focused on developing physical infrastructure for storing and sharing NOAA s data within a publicly accessible cloud that would allow industry experts and scientists to extrapolate vast amounts of historical data, schedule satellite launches and make better predictions. After receiving 70 responses from individuals, academia and industry organizations, NOAA developed an initial concept for its big data partnership business model. The Precision Medicine Initiative: In 2015 the Obama Administration unveiled the Precision Medicine Initiative, a new model of patient-powered research and engagement that aims to accelerate biomedical discoveries and provide clinicians with new tools, knowledge and therapies for treatment. The Initiative builds partnerships with existing research cohorts, patient groups and the private sector to develop the infrastructure that will be needed to expand cancer genomics and launch a national patient-powered research cohort of one million Americans. The White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative: In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Obama Administration launched the White House Innovation for Disaster Response to find the most effective ways technology can empower survivors, first responders and all levels of government with critical information and resources. Following the Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative Demo Day, the Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative launched a number of significant 4

5 commitments and tools from federal agencies and private-sector collaborators in order to impact the lives of survivors of large-scale emergencies. For example, the EPA showcased its I-WASTE tool, a flexible, web-based, planning and decision-making tool to address disaster waste management issues. Appendix B: Further reading Big Data to Knowledge, National Institutes of Health, BD2K: NIH Big Data To Knowledge. Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, Inbloom s Collapse Offers Lessons For Innovation In Education. Forde, Brian, What Startups Taught The White House During Disaster. Mashable. New, Josh, 'A Lot Of Private-Sector Data Is Also Used For Public Good'. Computerworld. Overpeck, Jonathan T., Gerald A. Meehl, Sandrine Bony, and David R. Easterling. "Climate data challenges in the 21st century." Science(Washington)331, no (2011): Verhulst, Stefaan, 'Mapping The Next Frontier Of Open Data: Corporate Data Sharing'. The Govlab Blog. The White House, 'FACT SHEET: Empowering America s Agricultural Sector And Strengthening Food Resilience Through The President s Climate Data Initiative'. The White House, 'FACT SHEET: The President s Climate Data Initiative: Empowering America s Communities To Prepare For The Effects Of Climate Change'. 5

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