This article is published in the April 2023 issue.

NSF and Five Other U.S. Agencies Launch Program to Build an Integrated Data and Knowledge Infrastructure

Recently, the National Science Foundation (NSF), along with five other U.S. government agencies, launched the Building the Prototype Open Knowledge Network (Proto-OKN). This $20 million initiative, will provide funding opportunities towards building a prototype version of an integrated data and knowledge infrastructure called an open knowledge network.

An open knowledge network (OKN) is a publicly accessible, interconnected set of data repositories and associated knowledge graphs that will enable data-driven, artificial intelligence-based solutions for a broad set of societal challenges. In 2018, the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) partnered with the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) to  bring together the community and produce a 20-Year Roadmap for Artificial Intelligence. The report emphasized a need for open knowledge networks in order to satiate AI’s need for vast amounts of data, in addition to describing key characteristics that the community considered desirable in such a public network.

NSF will fund projects to prototype scalable, cloud-based technical infrastructure to address challenges across healthcare, space, criminal justice, climate change and many other fields. The Proto-OKN funding opportunity will support translational research projects in the following categories:

  • Theme 1 – Proto-OKN Use Cases: Projects in this category will develop a knowledge graph or “node” to provide data-centric solutions to various societal challenges like equity, social care, justice, climate change, disaster management, health communications, supply chains and financial risk analysis.

  • Theme 2 – Proto-OKN Fabric: Projects in this category will develop and deploy the necessary technologies to provide “interconnecting fabric” to link the knowledge graphs developed by Theme 1 teams.

  • Theme 3 – Proto-OKN Education and Public Engagement: One awardee will create educational materials and tools for people or organizations interested in engaging with the Proto-OKN.

To learn more, read the Proto-OKN funding opportunity or join an introductory webinar on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, at 3 p.m. E.T. Register for the webinar here.

NSF and Five Other U.S. Agencies Launch Program to Build an Integrated Data and Knowledge Infrastructure