Celebrating the Launch of KEY, SFU’s Big Data Initiative

February 03, 2017

Yesterday marked the launch of KEY, SFU’s Big Data Initiative, as well as the opening of SFU’s Big Data Hub – a one-stop shop that connects people to the expert support and training they need.

The launch event was held at the Hub and began with a presentation in the theatre. Joy Johnson, SFU’s vice-president, research and international opened the presentation by welcoming attendees—approximately 200 of them—to the celebratory event.

Notable speakers included SFU President Andrew Petter, big data veteran and proud SFU alumnus Chris Neumann, and Fred Popowich, executive director, SFU’s Big Data Initiative.

“The launch of this important initiative builds on Simon Fraser University’s growing strengths in big data research and education,” says Petter. “KEY will enable SFU to expand our academic and research capacities by harnessing big data to acquire new knowledge, support economic and social development, and increase skills and expertise in the workforce.”

After explaining how one component of KEY is to spark new collaborations and bring people together to solve real world problems, Popowich concluded. “Today, big data has done just that, and brought us all here to celebrate how we are moving beyond traditional barriers to pursue research, scholarship and digital innovation in new and exciting ways.”

The special presentation was followed by a reception, along with tours of the new facility. It was an exciting and proud day for the SFU community to celebrate this university-wide initiative that will empower people to use big data to advance knowledge and solve real world problems.