Washington, DC - Storing, managing, standardizing and publishing the vast amounts of data produced by biomedical research is a critical mission for the National Institutes of Health. In support of this effort, NIH today released its first Strategic Plan for Data Science that provides a roadmap for modernizing the NIH-funded biomedical data science ecosystem.  Over the course of the next year, NIH will begin implementing its strategy, with some elements of the plan already underway. NIH will continue to seek community input during the implementation phase.

Accessible, well-organized, secure, and efficiently operated data resources are critical to modern scientific inquiry. By maximizing the value of data generated through NIH-funded efforts, the pace of biomedical discoveries and medical breakthroughs for better health outcomes can be substantially accelerated. To keep pace with rapid changes in biomedical data science, NIH will work to address the:

  • findability, interconnectivity, and interoperability of NIH-funded biomedical data sets and resources
  • integration of existing data management tools and development of new ones
  • universalizing innovative algorithms and tools created by academic scientists into enterprise-ready resources that meet industry standards of ease of use and efficiency of operation
  • growing costs of data management

To advance NIH data science across the extramural and intramural research communities, the agency will hire a Chief Data Strategist. This management function will guide the development and implementation of NIH’s data science activities and provide leadership within the broader biomedical research data ecosystem.