Microsoft has announced commitments totaling $55 million in support of frontline research organizations and nonprofits working to address the spread and impacts of COVID-19.
The commitments include $20 million from Microsoft Philanthropies to shift the company's AI for Health initiative to COVID-19, with a focus on data and insights, treatment and diagnostics, recommendations with respect to the allocation of resources, the dissemination of accurate information, and COVID-related research. Partnerships under the initiative include the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, a public-private effort spearheaded by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy for which Microsoft is providing access to computing resources that can accelerate the pace of scientific discovery; the Washington State Department of Health, which is working on a new dashboard that relies on real-time data reported by local health jurisdictions, healthcare facilities, and labs; and Folding@home, a global organization that uses distributed computing to research COVID-19 proteins that could help in the design of therapeutics.
In addition, the company boosted by $35 million its support for Microsoft Philanthropies' Tech for Social Impact, which will use the funds to double its Microsoft Azure credits (from $3,500 to $7,000) for nonprofits, expand the Windows services it provides for nonprofits, and add new pro bono services designed to help critical care and frontline organizations in their efforts to combat COVID-19, enabling them to free up scarce resources, support remote work and training, and securely use data analysis in their COVID-19 response.
"We deeply appreciate the heroic work of nonprofits across the globe and remain steadfast in our efforts to provide them with the resources to help us overcome COVID-19," Microsoft Philanthropies general manager Justin Spelhaug wrote in a blog post.
"Data and computation will help light the path to mitigating the pandemic," said Eric Horvitz, Microsoft's chief scientific officer. "We're passionate about aiming our computing resources and expertise at empowering those with the most promising directions, including efforts in biomedicine, logistics, epidemiology and public health."
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