Public-private partnerships are critical to effective information sharing and collaboration as multifaceted communication facilitates the conversion of unfocused data into usable and actionable knowledge. Public-private stakeholders have option to leverage their own technology tool sets in the analysis of the published data or have the option to use technology tool sets developed by the open source community to leverage published Data.gov feeds. Data is shared using open standards (NIEM, Geo-RSS, and KML) that are widely supported among public-private partners. Using an approved, data.gov based data and information publication channel allows for the rapid dissemination of information rapidly with a streamlined approval process that is aligned to open government priorities of DHS and that of the administration. Data.gov provides an open standards-based technology agnostic information distribution channel.
The National Collaborative for Bio-Preparedness (NCB-Prepared) is a public-private partnership to develop, test and implement an advanced, nationwide bio-surveillance system. It is a collaborative effort of academic, government and industry leaders focused on developing a local, bottom-up approach to public health responsiveness and awareness. The initial partnership includes the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, SAS Institute and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Collaborative has partnered with the NC Division of Public Health to build on and expand their nationally leading syndromic surveillance system with diverse new data sources and advanced analytics running on a cloud-computing platform.
Efiia Cares leveraged collaboration and information expertise to effectively coordinate knowledge transference between public-private stakeholders in a recent project with NCBP. Using an instance of a YouDOP and Collaboratory, Efiia Cares and NCBP and successfully supported the biosurveillance mission at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway NASCAR event in Charlotte, NC over Memorial Day 2011 weekend. The YouDOP instance and the Collaboratory aggregated data from social media outlets and used targeted search terms to detect any bioterrorist threats in the Charlotte Metro Area. Lessons learned from this project will foster more integration of social media into biosurveillance that can be applied across the country.