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The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) on Tuesday said that it is launching a national research program named "Big Data," which aims to develop novel methods of information analysis.
The project, with a budget of 23 million Swiss francs (22.78 million U.S. dollars), will create specific applications and suggest solutions to the ethical and legal challenges posed by big data.
The "NRP 75" project will develop Switzerland's competences in the field of big data and focus equally on scientific and technical aspects and governance issues. Research work on the 36 projects comprised within NRP 75 will continue until 2021.
Several billion gigabytes of data are created each day. This mass of information offers new opportunities, but also raises many questions for society.
"It is crucial that both politicians and the judiciary are able to adapt laws and regulations quickly in order to facilitate effective use of big data and avoid negative effects," explained Christian S. Jensen, president of the NRP 75 steering committee.
"Switzerland is well positioned to carry out research into big data, since it has a highly educated population and remarkable infrastructure. NRP 75 wants to reinforce these capacities and develop specific applications that will be useful to the private and public sectors," he added.