Intel/MIT Effort Showcases Massachusetts’ Commitment to Big Data

Massachusetts wants to “own” Big Data, and it helps that Intel has decided that the latest of its Science and Technology Centers, this one devoted to Big Data, should be located at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has announced an  initiative called bigdata@CSAIL that will drive multi-disciplinary research through algorithms, architecture and data management, among other things. The idea is to tackle Big Data problems too big for current technology.

MIT beat out 55 other universities to land the Intel center, which comes with  funding of $2.5 million a year for up to five years and research collaborators from other universities. Among Intel’s goals for the center: to design hardware and software for storing, managing, processing, understanding and visualizing lots of information.

Part of a Trend

Companies are struggling to find the analytics talent they need and the demand is expected to grow. The McKinsey Global Institute predicts that by 2018, the U.S. will be short between 140,000 to 190,000 workers with deep analytical skills, and another 1.5 million managers and analysts who know how to effectively apply the insight gleaned from data.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said the state could add up to 50,000 jobs in Big Data by the end of 2018.

Among other developments in Massachusetts:

  • A consortium is bringing together more than 100 local companies, research groups and other organizations to work on Big Data and analytics.
  • An internship program intends to place more than 2,000 students from around the world with data/analytics companies in the state.
  • A state matching grant program is being set up for companies that launch research programs at Massachusetts universities.
  • The state will contribute $50,000 over two years to fund six-month projects at the Big Data incubator-style hacker space HackReduce, which includes computing resources and mentoring.

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