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U.S. Government, OSTP, Open New Troves of Data to the Public

The public has a new trove of government data at its fingertips -- thanks to agencies throughout the Federal Government answering the Open Government Directive's call to make available at least three new, high-value data sets.

Cross-posted from the OSTP blog

Today marks the first milestone called for in the Administration’s Open Government Directive — a call for agencies to make available at least three new, high-value data sets in machine-readable format. Thanks to the terrific responsiveness of our cabinet agencies, the public now has a new trove of government data at its fingertips.

To demonstrate our commitment to this Presidential priority, and to reflect the same spirit we exhibited in drafting our open government recommendations consistent with the values of transparency and accountability, we are pleased to report the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s contribution to this remarkable effort.

Furthering our mission to fuel innovation through strategic investments in science and technology research and development, OSTP today shares with the public the following three data sets:

A Decade of Investments in Innovation Coordinated through the National Nanotechnology Initiative

The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) coordinates Federal nanotechnology research and development among 25 Federal agencies. The data released represent NNI investments by agency and program component area (PCA) from the Initiative’s founding in FY 2001 through FY 2010 (requested). These data have been available as part of the NNI’s annual supplements to the President’s Budget. But compared to earlier releases, the data as presented here are more accessible and readily available for analysis by users wishing to assess trends and examine investment allocations over the 10-year history of the NNI. The cumulative NNI investment of nearly $12 billion is advancing our understanding of the unique phenomena and processes that occur at the nanoscale and is helping leverage that knowledge to speed innovation in high-impact opportunity areas such as energy, security, and medicine.

Aggregated Federal R&D Investments in Networking and Information Technology Coordinated through the National Coordination Office for Networking and Information Technology Research and Development

Thirteen Federal agencies, including all of the large science and technology agencies, as well as a number of other Federal entities, are formal members of the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program. The National Coordination Office supports the NITRD Program, which is the primary mechanism by which the Government coordinates its unclassified networking and information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) investments. The data released today allow individuals to track funding trends and identify agencies with investments in technical areas of interest, and can help entrepreneurs and grant seekers better direct their efforts to engage the correct Federal agency. Currently two years (FY2009 and FY2010) of budget numbers are being posted but additional information going back 15 years will be posted shortly.

Interagency Investments in Climate Research and Observations Coordinated through the U.S. Global Change Research Program

The U.S. Global Change Research Program coordinates and integrates federal research on changes in the global environment and their implications for society. The data released today quantify the budget authorities for individual Agency activities in which the primary focus is on observations, research, and analysis of climate change and its underlying causes, as well as such activities as management and distribution of climate data records, modeling and predicting of climate change, analysis of impacts of climate change, and preparation of information in support of climate-change adaptation and mitigation policymaking. These data were available previously in printed annual reports (“Our Changing Planet”) since 1990 and in other formats in some years since then but have never before been compiled in one, accessible, machine-readable format. This allows an array of new trend analyses and provides transparency about government investments in these important areas of research and Earth observation.

OSTP is proud to be part of the growing movement for greater transparency in government. We hope you will explore the information lode being released today and use your creativity to make the most of it.

Aneesh Chopra is the United States Chief Technology Officer