The VIIRS satellite sensor alone currently produces over
2 terabytes of data daily, and the launch of the next-generation GOES-R
satellite in 2016 promises to add another 3.5 terabytes each day. (Photo by
Blog Post by
David McClure and Maia
On April 21st
2015, NOAA and the Department of Commerce announced that they had entered into
Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) with Amazon Web
Services, Google Cloud Platform, IBM, Microsoft, and the Open Cloud Consortium.
Under these agreements, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
and its collaborators will research and explore new ways to enable the use of NOAA
data, furthering the Department of Commerce's goals of improving
decision-making by government, industry, and citizens; growing the economy; and
creating jobs. The CRADAs provide a cooperative research environment where
the collaborators and NOAA can work together with the help of data alliances, representative
ecosystems of value-added providers and data customers that are organized
around each participating cloud provider and share an interest in the use of
NOAA’s data. A previous blog:
"NOAA’s Data Heads for the Clouds," describes the business model in greater detail.
Each of the CRADAs signed
with the five anchor collaborators is identical. By working under the shared
language of this CRADA, NOAA establishes a level playing field that both
protects the public’s interest in the data, which is a public good created with
tax dollars, and allows private sector competitors to work in parallel to
reduce the technical barriers and cost of efficient access to NOAA’s vast data
portfolio. A copy of the CRADA can be found here.
In its text, the CRADA
creates a framework within which the collaborators can explore and test the
technical, business, and operational challenges of expanding data access. The CRADA
contains NOAA’s standard research agreement language, which forms the skeleton
of this framework, as well as defining the specific goals of the collaboration
and the guidelines within which NOAA and the collaborators can innovate to achieve
these goals. The CRADA is designed to allow the collaborators, their data
alliances, and NOAA to focus on harvesting the public and private benefits
locked up in NOAA’s data, without unnecessarily limiting or predefining the
solution space. NOAA shares the excitement of the open government data
community about what might emerge from this research project.
Maia Hansen is
a Presidential Innovation Fellows based at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) and David McClure is a NOAA employee in the Office of the
Chief Information Officer.