Amazon has launched a $20 million initiative aimed at accelerating COVID-19 research and the development of diagnostics and testing.
The AWS (Amazon Web Services) Diagnostic Development Initiative will support customers working to bring more accurate diagnostics solutions to market faster, as well as efforts to improve collaboration across and within organizations working on similar problems. The initial investment of $20 million will be used to advance understanding and detection of COVID-19 and develop innovative diagnostic solutions that can mitigate future infectious disease outbreaks. Funding will be provided through a combination of AWS in-kind credits and technical support designed to help research teams harness the full potential of the cloud.
Accredited research institutions and private entities using AWS to support the development of point-of-care diagnostics (testing that can be done at home or at a clinic with same-day results) are eligible to apply. Recipients will be selected based on a range of factors, including applicability of research to the development of diagnostic tools and techniques for reliable, more accurate, and economical testing for COVID-19; stage of diagnostic research; and potential in terms of disseminating the results and data through a pipeline or software. A technical advisory group of leading scientists, global health policy experts, and leaders in the field of infectious disease diagnostics will help the initiative set priorities and facilitate the sharing of research findings and collaboration with other organizations.
"The world needs more and more private sector innovation to combat this pandemic. Amazon's commitments and participation are very welcome, particularly since the lack of significant next-generation diagnostic tools remains a large gap in most health systems," said Steve Davis, a member of the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative's advisory group and of the World Health Organization's Digital Health Technical Advisory Group. "A platform to link research, digital capabilities, and new products to customers globally is an exciting venture."