Abstract Astronomy is entering an era of mega-data that will render conventional research methods as well as data and visual analytics tools ineffective. The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) drives one of the most significant big data challenges of the next decades. South Africa, China and India are partners in the global SKA collaboration and host recently completed, next generation radio astronomy facilities. South Africa, Brazil, China and India are involved in the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), which represents a complementary mega-data challenge, vastly increasing the current data volume of optical surveys, and providing critical multi-wavelength data set for SKA analytics. Russian researchers are also engaged in radio astronomy and multi-wavelength, multi-messenger projects driving increasing volumes of observational data. This project brings together teams leading programs in data innovation in each partner country to collaborate on the development of new technologies and systems to meet the big data challenge of SKA pathfinder facilities and the multi-wavelength projects that are critical to the advance of astronomy. In so doing we will prototype and demonstrate scalable big data technologies for the new big data era, and establish a BRICS multinational federated data intensive cloud network for collaborative programs in data intensive astronomy.