Data Observatory for Innovation and Economic Prosperity

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Spokes: MEDIUM: SOUTH: Collaborative: Data Observatory for Innovation and Economic Prosperity: A data-intensive initiative in support of science and innovation policy

Data Observatory spokes

In the new global economy, knowledge, innovation, and entrepreneurship are the drivers for economic growth and prosperity. As such, there is an urgent need for policymakers to support investments in science and innovation. Creating effective policies requires comprehensive and timely data on the theories, relationships, and factors that transform innovation into economic prosperity. However, the current data infrastructure prohibits data curation as it is segregated in data silos where legal and privacy concerns inhibit dissemination, and use. The solution requires collaboration across disciplines, institutions, organizations, and geographies to create the datasets, standards, methodologies, and tools needed to interconnect and analyze data to inform policymakers. The Data Observatory for Innovation and Economic Prosperity (Data Observatory) will convene policymakers, industry leaders, innovation and economic development advocates, and academic institutions to delineate a policy-driven research agenda, and foster a data-intensive research community. The Data Observatory (DO) will provide the necessary infrastructure, data curation, and interconnection standards necessary to support and address specific science and innovation policy inquiries, which in turn will help policy makers obtain a more in-depth understanding of how innovation and the scientific process affect economic prosperity. This will provide policy makers at all levels with the ability to help shape policies that translate investments “from innovation to impact.” The DO is an ongoing collaborative effort between the University of Central Florida, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Purdue University, the University of South Florida, VentureWell, the International Business Innovation Association, the National Academy of Inventors, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities,, and many other collaborators from industry, academia and government.

The Data Observatory’s mission is to source, host, curate, and create “research ready” information through integrating and consolidating a large and expanding number of dataset “constellations” in the area of innovation and economic prosperity. The Data Observatory fully aligns with multiple South Data Hub priorities, and will extend and enhance the South Data Hub’s network in regional and national priority areas of fostering innovation and economic development in on regional and national scales.

The Data Observatory will establish best practices and methodologies for multi-institutional and multi-agency cooperation towards interconnecting and curating innovation data. The Data Observatory will help provide valuable, “research-ready” information by breaking down information silos across multiple datasets and provide the data-driven information policy makers need to shape and implement science and innovation policies for regional and national economic prosperity. Further, the Data Observatory will act as a model for other regions and hubs towards consolidating and curating data for a nationwide, comprehensive dataset accessible to other organizations, agencies, and institutions seeking to research, advocate for, and support, innovation-driven policies.

Innovation ecosystems are widely acknowledged engines of innovation-driven economic growth, but are not well understood. A better understanding is required to determine how policy affects investments that result in vibrant ecosystems. The Data Observatory will lead to transformational changes in the understanding and design of policy and practice to advance science and innovation. Through collecting, storing, cataloging, and connecting data, this initiative will provide the necessary data-intensive infrastructure to make informed science and innovation policies to strengthen innovation in regions with advanced ecosystems and to stimulate ecosystem development in our less innovative regions. The results are high-paying jobs, vibrant communities, and fertile environments for growth companies, societal wellbeing in terms of economic prosperity and quality of life, and the economic and national security of the United States. Keywords: innovation, prosperity, policy, transformative, economy, data observatory.

Principal Investigators:

  • Dr. Ivan Garibay
  • Dr. Nichola Lowe
  • Dr. Sudeep Sukar


  • Dr. Liqiang Wang
  • Dr. Ozlem O Garibay
  • Dr. Thomas P O’Neal
  • Dr. Alexander Mantzaris
  • Dr. Daniel M Eilen
  • Dr. Nikola Mirilovic
  • Dr. Ali Borji
  • Dr. Robin Kay Phelps
  • Dr. Shunpu Zhang
  • Dr. Gary T. Leavens

University of Central Florida
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
University of South Florida
Purdue University
Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities
Venture Well
International Business Incubator Association
Renaissance Computing Institute: RENCI

National Science Foundation