Nine N.J. colleges sign on to Big Data coalition

Jessica Perry//January 18, 2017

Nine N.J. colleges sign on to Big Data coalition

Jessica Perry//January 18, 2017

Nine of the state’s top colleges and universities have signed a memorandum of agreement to formally establish the New Jersey Big Data Alliance.Margaret Brennan-Tonetta, associate vice president for economic development at Rutgers and a founder of the NJBDA, said the agreement was a step toward making the Garden State a leader in an emerging field.

“The signing of the MOA by nine of the state’s top universities and NJEDge.Net is key to making New Jersey a leader in advanced computing and Big Data analytics,” she explained. “The fact that the alliance members proactively created this organization to increase access to advanced cyberinfrastructure technologies and Big Data expertise by academia, industry and government demonstrates the commitment that we have to establish New Jersey as a leader in this field.”

The nine institutions appearing on the agreement are:

  • Rutgers University;
  • Montclair State University;
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology;
  • Kean University;
  • Rowan University;
  • St. Peter’s University;
  • Stockton University;
  • Stevens Institute of Technology;
  • The College of New Jersey.

The New Jersey Research and Education Network, known as NJEDge.Net, will also be part of the alliance.

The aim of the NJBDA is to bring together the diverse advanced cyberinfrastructure resources and talent housed at the state’s universities, colleges and NJEDge.Net, according to a news release.

The NJBDA received official state designation with the passage of the “Big Data Bill” in 2014, spearheaded by then-Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula. The bill designated the New Jersey Big Data Alliance as the “State’s Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Consortium.”

Liz Rowe, chief data officer for the state of New Jersey, said this coalition is a “model” for other states.

“This agreement and the accomplishments of the NJBDA are a model for other states to emulate as they develop and advance their own analytics capabilities and programs,” she said. “The close collaboration between academia, industry and government on this effort will not only advance cyberinfrastructure in the state, but also create and fortify the connections needed to develop and deploy the common standards and practices required to enable predictive and prescriptive analytics across multiple disciplines, while ensuring privacy and security of the data.”

The NJBDA is planning its fourth annual symposium at the New Jersey Institute of Technology for March 16. This year’s theme is “Big Data Connects.”