The US government spends $130 billion per year on research and development and other programs for accelerating economic growth, improving job opportunities and more. Most of the funds are invested at universities and federal laboratories. Any business spending this amount of money on anything would be required to prove to investors that it is being spent wisely.
In June 2014, the Obama Administration announced an expansion of the research.data.gov website and, for the first time, will provide access to machine-readable data from over 700 US Federal R&D facilities. In other words, anyone can leverage information and services supplied by these facilities to research, prototype and test new technologies.
These facilities have cutting-edge research tools and data that are the result of tens of billions of US taxpayer investments over decades. According to a release, the facilities include NASA, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The US government is also calling on the software developer community to leverage these new open data resources, build software tools and leverage intellectual property (IP) so that innovators, entrepreneurs and manufactures can fully benefit from federal research and development facilities, resources and investments.
Private industry is already taking advantage of the US government’s open data for development of new technology and software for education, energy, healthcare, personal finance, real estate, automobiles, a variety of sustainable and environmentally friendly projects such as garbage collection and more.
Government and industry observers say another benefit of this new openness will be the added scrutiny of federal government’s programs and institutions which will help separate the wheat from the chaff, identifying areas funded by the government that are particularly valuable as well as those that have not produced significant value over time.
The following is a graphic of the Open Data Movement.
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