Twitter has been busy opening its data up to media — through a deal with CNN and Dataminr — and the music industry — via an agreement with 300 Entertainment — and now it is focusing on helping researchers and academics.

The company has announced the Twitter Data Grants initiative which it says will “give a handful of research institutions access to our public and historical data”. Users send over half a billion tweets per day, so there is all kinds of information that researchers may want to dig into, from health predictions and information, to global weather, seasonal culture (like Chinese New Year), public opinion on issues, etc.

Twitter has partnered with Gnip — one of its official data resellers — on this initiative. Further details can be found on the Data Grant website — the initial deadline for proposals from interested researchers is March 15.

➤ Introducing Twitter Data Grants [Twitter Blog]

Headline image via DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images