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NSF Awards $1M to Develop Open Knowledge Database for Business

By Maryland Today Staff

The National Science Foundation has awarded $1 million to a multi-institutional team that includes a UMD business professor to help develop an open knowledge database to benefit entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Louiqa Raschid, a professor of information systems in the Robert H. Smith School of Business with an appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, is a co-principal investigator on the project.

The team, which includes researchers from the University of Southern California and Dartmouth College, will develop new computational methods for extracting, representing, linking and analyzing data with complex and nuanced information about the business domain.

Currently, knowledge about markets and businesses is spread across a variety of sources, and is often unavailable for entrepreneurs, nonprofits, academia and small businesses. The research team will use the latest techniques in data science to create the Business Open Knowledge Network, making data about businesses, innovation and markets freely available in easily usable forms.

For example, it will help entrepreneurs to fully understand the competitive landscape, allow regulators to quickly identify issues to help stave off a financial crisis and enable researchers to develop and test theories to transform the nation's business practices.

The money for phase I of the project comes from NSF’s Convergence Accelerator pilot program, which supports team-based, multidisciplinary efforts to address challenges of national importance that show potential for deliverables in the near future.

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