The NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institute of Drug Addiction, and National Institute of Mental Health have undertaken a historic community-wide effort in their support of the funding of the Neuroimaging Informatics Tools and Resources Clearinghouse (NITRC) contract. Yet, NIH prefers that infrastructure type services such as NITRC Research Services become self-sustaining so that the cost burden is carried by those who use and benefit from the service itself. Our Phase 1 SBIR proposal successfully implemented a proof of concept of the proposed enhanced service NITRC Image Repository (NITRC-IR), as well as a proof of concept for an additional enhanced service, the NITRC Computational Environment (NITRCCE). The objective of this Phase 2 SBIR proposal is to create a more polished and easy-to-use set of commercially viable services that allow and encourage a significantly wider audience of researchers to share datasets, computational resources, and research results with the neuroscience community. Specifically, we propose: 1) Productization and Enhanced Services for Computation (NITRC-CE): Increase the functionality of NITRCCE through the introduction of a mobile platform, the ability for researchers to create interactive replicable demonstrations, and the ability to drag-and-drop data sets to improve the ease of conducting analyses. 2) Productization and Enhanced Services for Data and Resource Storage (NITRC-R and NITRC-IR): Introduce portlets (which allow integration of NITRC news and download functionality with external sites), support for publisher integration, expansion of public datasets, support for private datasets, and the creation of permanent identifiers for tools and resources, to facilitate reproducibility of published analyses. 3) Usability Research and Testing: Conduct usability research and update user stories for NITRC Research Services based on feedback, update prototype functionality based on feedback, facilitate heuristic evaluation of the functionality to ensure it meets the requirements as established by the updated user stories, conduct pre- and post-implementation surveys to verify willingness to pay based on proposed cost models to ensure commercial viability.
The purpose of NITRC Research Services is to provide neuroscience researchers with a complete solution to the problem of sharing and finding large-scale datasets and manipulating them in high-performance computing environments. NITRC Research Services will be a framework where researchers can identify software and data and seamlessly deliver them to a cloud-based computational resource for processing. This will greatly enhance the delivery of high-performance computing to the large-scale datasets that are becoming the mainstay of neuroscience research and promote more reproducible publication practices through enhanced resource sharing.
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