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Prof. Dr. Florian Stahl, Sprecher BERD@NFDI und Dr. Sabine Gehrlein, Co-Sprecherin BERD@NFDI Photo credit: Katrin Glückler

Federal and State Governments Invest Eight-Figure Sum in Development of National Platform to Analyze Big Data in the Economic and Social Sciences

Over the next five years, the University of Mannheim will lead a consortium that develops and builds a national cloud-based platform for using artificial intelligence, machine learning and complex analytical methods in the field of economic and social sciences. This platform will enable researchers to gain new knowledge from big unstructured data sets.

In today’s world, researchers across the globe produce incredible amounts of data. This data is highly complex and therefore it is necessary to analyze different data types (image, video, text, audio) simultaneously and automatically. Due to this multimodality, there is no alternative to using artificial intelligence and large-scale storage and computing capacities. For this reason, the federal and state governments agreed in 2018 to develop a National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) which cross-links research data and makes them more accessible.

In order to establish an adequate and viable platform as a research infrastructure for innovative big data projects, the University of Mannheim will lead the consortium BERD@NFDI. Participating institutions are Universität Hamburg, University of Cologne, LMU, the Institute for Employment Research of the Federal Employment Agency, the Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (ZBW) and GESIS. BERD@NFDI was awarded the eight-figure sum of the Joint Science Conference (Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz, GWK) of the federal and state governments to build a National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) for structured and unstructured research data from the field of economic and social sciences over the next five years.

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