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International Big Data Partnership Helps Position Great Lakes Region as a Global Leader in Data Science and the Digital Economy

The Partnership Will Help Establish The Foundation Of A Powerful Advanced Computing And Public Policy Platform in the Great Lakes Region, called Great Lakes 4.0, Which Will Be Led By the Council and Seeks To Position The Great Lakes Region As A World Leader In Innovation And The Data-Enabled Digital Economy

The Council of the Great Lakes Region and the Midwest Big Data Hub are pleased to announce a cooperation agreement that will drive innovative solutions for international cross-domain data science challenges. The partnership will help establish the foundation of a powerful advanced computing and public policy platform in the Great Lakes Region, called Great Lakes 4.0, which will be led by the Council and seeks to position the Great Lakes Region as a world leader in innovation and the data-enabled digital economy.

The Council and the Midwest Big Data Hub are poised to cooperate on multiple interrelated cross-border and cross-domain big data challenges, including in the areas of agri-food, transportation and logistics, and advanced materials and manufacturing. Addressing data science and governance issues, as well as education, training, and workforce development in these and other areas, is also critical to continued economic development within the region and will form an import component of Great Lakes 4.0.

Once launched this spring, Great Lakes 4.0, supported in Canada by the SOSCIP R&D Consortium and IBM Canada Ltd., will enable the formation of unique, cost-effective, and collaborative partnerships between industry, academia, government, and non-profits. Their focus will be to accelerate the commercialization and development of breakthrough ideas and technologies using world-class capabilities in data science, predictive analytics and high performance computing.

In the digital economy, vast amounts of data are being created due to increasingly sophisticated interfaces and interactions between connected systems, pervasive computing devices, and the Internet. The business and strategic value of this data and emerging service platforms is considerable in today’s connected economy. But understanding its importance and innovation potential can take time and significant investment by industry and government agencies. New data management protocols and standards will also be required to fully mine its value.

As disruptive technologies and innovative systems take hold, a new era of advancement will open opportunities for incubating and commercializing data research. Great Lakes 4.0 will then also serve as an important research collaborative to study and expand our knowledge of the public policy and regulatory impacts of innovation, from the application of blockchain technology and the movement of connected and autonomous vehicles on our roads and across international borders, to building smart cities and the food and energy systems of the future.

The Great Lakes Region, spanning eight states and two Canadian provinces, is North America’s economic engine and accounts for 30% of combined U.S. and Canadian economic activity and employment. With economic output valued at USD$6.0 trillion in 2016, if it were a country, the Region would represent the third largest economy in the world. It is undergoing an important economic transformation and revival, aided by a highly skilled workforce, best-in-class academic institutions, and a large, innovative industrial base.

Mark Fisher“The ability to link data and extract hidden insights and value at faster and faster speeds is critical, not only for business and industry operating in the fourth industrial revolution and the digital economy, but also for governments and academia who are tackling our biggest global challenges, from climate change and food production, to energy use and transportation. The Great Lakes, which is quickly emerging as a global leader in data science, deep analytics and cognitive computing, can produce and commercialize the solutions, providing we can fully connect and harness our innovation strengths and assets. Great Lakes 4.0 is the answer!”

Mark Fisher, President and CEO, Council of the Great Lakes Region

Melissa Cragin
Melissa Cragin

“The value of big data transcends industry segments and geographic boundaries. Deriving value from data requires creative partnerships that overcome socio-technical barriers and create new approaches to data sharing, governance, and cross-domain solutions that drive innovation. As a catalyst for economic and workforce development in the Great Lakes region, we are excited to add the Council as a strategic partner in the growing big data ecosystem.”

Melissa Cragin, Executive Director, Midwest Big Data Hub

“SOSCIP is pleased to support this partnership by providing advanced computing technologies and the expertise needed to harness big data tools to drive widespread innovation. By collaborating across disciplines, industries and borders, this innovative partnership will deliver important solutions that will help companies in the Region grow, while also training the next generation of data scientists.”

Jennifer MacLean, Executive Director, SOSCIP


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