NASA Launches Open Data Development Push With OpenNEX


NASA is pushing for developers to break apart its climate data and find new insights. The agency launched an open data effort with Amazon Web Services and OpenNEX, a data supercomputing and knowledge platform to provide developers with the tools they’ll need to move forward. NASA already hosts a significant amount of climate and earth science data on the Amazon cloud, which first showcased its capabilities using NOAA data. The Space Act Agreement gives the agency the ability to make much of its cloud public.

The challenges will use the Open NASA Earth Exchange. On OpenNEX, users can share modeling and analysis codes, scientific results, knowledge and expertise to solve big data challenges in the Earth sciences.

The first “ideation” stage of the challenge, which runs July 1 through Aug. 1, offers as much as $10,000 in awards for ideas on novel uses of the datasets. The second “builder” stage, beginning in August, will offer between $30,000 and $50,000 in awards for the development of an application or algorithm that promotes climate resilience using the OpenNEX data, based on ideas from the first stage of the challenge. NASA will announce the overall challenge winners in December.

NASA’s OpenNEX challenge addresses a number of White House initiatives, including Open Data, Big Data and Climate Data. These initiatives advance national goals to address climate change impacts on economic growth, health and livelihood, and include the use of competitions and challenges to foster regional innovation.

The challenges are managed by NASA’s Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI). CoECI was established in coordination with the Office of Science and Technology Policy to advance NASA’s open innovation efforts and extend that expertise to other federal agencies. The challenges are released on the NASA Innovation Pavilion, one of the CoECI platforms available to NASA team members, through its contract with InnoCentive, Inc.