tech, Microsoft and others launch DTI to combat COVID-19

Microsoft, and other universities have setup a Digital Transformation Institute to study and mitigate future COVID-19 pandemic.

The deadline for submitting first batch of proposals is May 1, 2020.
The deadline for submitting first batch of proposals is May 1, 2020.

Microsoft and AI software provider, have partnered with a bunch of US-based universities including to form a research consortium that is focused on innovative efforts to advance the digital transformation of business, government, and society.

The consortium, which also includes educational institutes like the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of California, Berkeley, Princeton University, the University of Chicago, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Carnegie Mellon University to form the new Digital Transformation Institute, have established Digital Transformation Institute (DTI), will focus its research on AI, Machine Learning, IoT, Big Data Analytics, human factors, organizational behavior, ethics, and public policy.

The first order of business for the consortium is to study the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak so that vaccines can be developed to combat the ongoing outbreak and future outbreaks can be predicted and prevented. To accelerate this research, DTI has invited scholars, developers and researchers to use artificial intelligence for mitigating the pandemic.

The deadline for submitting the first batch of proposals is May 1, 2020 and the selected proposals will be announced by June 1, 2020. The consortium is giving up to $5.8 million in awards that will range from $100,000 (75 lakh approximately) to $500,000 (3.74 crore approximately) each. In addition to this, recipients will get free access to AI software resources and technical support including C3 AI Suite, Microsoft Azure cloud platform, and access to the Blue Waters supercomputer at the National Center for Super Computing Applications (NCSA) at UIUC.

Separately, will provide $57,250,000 in cash contributions over the first five years to support the institute. Additionally, " and Microsoft will contribute an additional $310 million in-kind including use of the C3 AI Suite and Microsoft Azure computing, storage, and technical resources to support DTI research," Microsoft said in a blog post.