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AWS Commits To $20M In Cloud Credits To Coronavirus Researchers

The cloud giant looks to accelerate development of tests for the pathogen behind a global pandemic by allowing researchers to run workloads at no cost on its cloud. The launch has 35 labs and businesses participating.

Amazon Web Services said Friday it has implemented a program through which it will provide $20 million worth of cloud credits to research customers working to improve detection of the novel coronavirus.

The world’s largest cloud provider launched the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative, which will subsidize research, through free cloud services and support, into development of diagnostic tools that quickly and accurately test for the pathogen responsible for a global pandemic.

“Better diagnostics will help accelerate treatment and containment, and in time, shorten the course of this epidemic,” Teresa Carlson, AWS vice president of worldwide public sector, said on an AWS blog.

[Related: 6 Ways The Tech Industry Is Confronting The Coronavirus Pandemic]

Amazon said in-kind AWS credits and technical support will go to accredited research institutions and private companies running workloads on its cloud aiming to develop diagnostics that can be used to detect the disease at people’s homes or at clinics the same day they are tested.

That program initially will focus on supporting COVID-19 researchers, given the global outbreak. But Carlson said Amazon will also consider funding diagnostic projects for other infectious diseases.

The initiative is to be guided by a technical advisory group outside of Amazon made up of scientists, global health policy experts and other professionals in the field.

“This advisory group will help set the initiative’s priorities, help us innovate ways to enable participants to securely share critical research findings, and foster better dialogue between our customers and qualified external organizations who may be working independently to solve similar challenges,” Carlson said.

To start, 35 research institutions around the world, as well as startups and other businesses working on infection disease diagnostics, will take advantage of the AWS program.

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