UCL and Amazon Web Services bid to boost healthcare innovation

Amazon Web Services is backing the UCL Centre for Digital Innovation, helping develop cloud-based projects in healthcare and education

University College London (UCL) is teaming up with Amazon Web Services (AWS) on a new initiative designed to accelerate digital innovation in healthcare and education.

The UCL Centre for Digital Innovation (CDI) is inviting organisations and individuals in the field to apply for access to its training, education and technical support.

Applicants should be working on projects seeking to solve a global issue in health or education using cloud computing, and have a real user and customer in mind.

The UCL CDI team will support successful applicants to build a product prototype or, should one already exist, help to design it for scalability. AWS will offer up to £370,000 per year in development costs.

The centre will be hosted at IDEALondon, UCL’s technology and innovation hub in Shoreditch.

“This ambitious collaboration brings together the strength of UCL and AWS to build trust within digital innovation, allowing hospitals, universities, patients, students, research teams and UCL spinouts to use cloud-based technology to compete on a global stage,” said UCL CDI director, Graça Carvalho.

Innovative digital solutions to the world’s problems are best created in collaboration between academic and commercial organisations – Prof Geraint Rees, UCL

“UCL will benefit from AWS’ ‘working backwards’ innovation methodology and the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud offering,” he continued.

“We, in turn, hope to support AWS through our strong evidence base that demonstrates the importance of digital innovation within the health and education sectors to increase efficiencies and offer truly personalised intelligent products and services.”

The collaboration also sees UCL opening invitations for PhD studentships focused on four main research topics: innovation, healthcare, education and innovative infrastructures. Beginning in September, the studentships will be supported by a donation from AWS.

“Innovative digital solutions to the world’s problems are best created in collaboration between academic and commercial organisations,” said UCL pro-vice-provost (AI), Professor Geraint Rees.

“The UCL CDI, powered by AWS, combines the best of both domains. We believe that this combined endeavour will lead us to solutions that are evidence based, commercially sustainable and focus on the needs of the world’s citizens.”

Previous forays into education by AWS include a strategic partnership with the University of Oxford, focusing on the development of research projects in AI, and the launch of a two-year cloud qualification in collaboration with the Career Colleges Trust.

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