Cascadia Data Alliance

Data Science Collaborations


The opportunity: The Cascadia region of North America is home to some of the world’s leading technology, research, and medical organizations. Large amounts of biomedical research data are being generated in this geographical area that could be used to support accelerated research if shared effectively. Development of a robust regional data sharing ecosystem has the potential to position the Pacific Northwest as a global leader in data-driven innovation in biomedical research and healthcare, now and into the future. 

Cascadia Data Alliance logo

The challenge: cultural, technical and policy barriers have historically limited cross-organizational data sharing.

The Cascadia Data Alliance will change that.

The Cascadia Data Alliance is to establish a health research data sharing ecosystem with organizations across the Pacific Northwest region. The Alliance will facilitate creation of shared best practices in data governance and groundbreaking partnerships. Improved governance and collaboration will be used to drive towards improvements in data sharing to accelerate research and innovation across the community.

Cascadia Region of North America
Cascadia Region of North America

The Cascadia Data Discovery Initiative (CDDI)

The Cascadia Data Discovery Initiative (CDDI) is a first step toward achieving a regional data sharing ecosystem. CDDI aims to accelerate regional collaboration in data-intensive research and data sharing to enable that research.

Regional Collaboration

CDDI is promoting regional collaboration by opening a regional research funding opportunity that aims to enable collaborations that: (1) answer an important scientific question that benefits from regional collaboration and (2) develop or test innovative approaches to using technical solutions, data/methods standardization, best practices, and/or cloud services (using Microsoft Azure) that could be generalizable to future collaborative efforts.

Data Sharing

CDDI is working toward establishing a standard data use agreement between multiple organizations in the region. We are also working with the Specimen Acquisition Network to ensure the same agreement can be used for materials transfer and includes documents that provide easy-to-use documentation templates to accelerate data sharing between researchers at CDDI-participating organizations.

The 2020 Cascadia Funding Opportunity is Open! Download the Request for Applications:

CDDI Participating Institutions

Preserving Privacy to Enable Data Access

Cascadia is also working to test methods that enhance sharing of data that contains oftentimes sensitive information in a way that provides strong privacy preservation. Cascadia partners including UBC, BC Cancer, and Microsoft are working together to develop and demonstrate technology solutions that both preserve privacy and facilitate meaningful analysis of health research data.

Benefits

  • Resources for Cascadia regional collaboration
  • Closer ties to regional collaborators with complementary skills and expertise (and access to their broader networks)
  • Reduction in red tape to accelerate data sharing