The center will advance scientific knowledge, improve data quality and inform policy in fields ranging from the social, behavioral and economic sciences to health professions, urban planning and engineering.

A consortium of institutions led by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and the University of Texas at Dallas will partner with the U.S. Census Bureau to establish the Dallas-Fort Worth Federal Statistical Research Data Center.

The DFW center is the result of an extensive grant application process involving contributions from each consortium member and a review by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Census Bureau. One of several planned Federal Statistical Research Data Center locations across the country, the center will be housed at the Dallas Fed and will provide approved researchers with secure access to restricted micro-level data.

“The establishment of this center is the culmination of two years’ worth of effort on the part of the Bank and consortium to bring this important new research facility to North Texas,” said Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan. “Our role in this project aligns well with the Bank’s strategic priorities of serving as a thought leader in policy-related research and being a leading citizen in the communities we serve.”

The center will advance scientific knowledge, improve data quality and inform policy in fields spanning the social, behavioral and economic sciences and the health professions, and extending to urban planning, and engineering. The cutting-edge research opportunities afforded by the center will raise the profile of participating institutions and assist in attracting and retaining top research talent to the region.

“This is a very positive demonstration of how the major universities and institutions in the DFW area, along with West Texas, can work together to both increase quality research as well as strengthen the ties between consortium members,” said Kurt Beron, professor of economics at UT Dallas, who played a leading role in the grant application process and will help coordinate the consortium.

In addition to the Dallas Fed and UT Dallas, the consortium includes UT Arlington, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Southern Methodist University, Texas Tech University, University of North Texas, Texas Christian University and the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation.

The DFW center is expected to open in early 2018. Wenhua Di, senior research economist at the Dallas Fed, will serve as executive director of the center.

“There is significant demand in the region for this center,” said Di. “Since researchers need to be physically present to access the data, housing the center at the Dallas Fed will provide excellent security, easy accessibility and collaboration opportunities to a large research community.”

The new data center will encourage greater use of federal statistical data among faculty, researchers and graduate students in the many diverse research institutions in the DFW area, including traditional universities and health institutions. It will also provide access to West Texas and the Panhandle, as well as parts of Oklahoma. In addition, two major airports in the area provide convenient gateways for researchers in the region as well as nationally.

The research data center program is administered by the Census Bureau’s Center for Economic Studies. More information about the FSRDCs is available at https://www.census.gov/fsrdc. — Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas