Amazon Web Services said it is launching a diagnostic development unit with 35 partners in an effort to develop a faster and more affordable test for COVID-19.
The cloud provider said it will commit $20 million for customers working on diagnostic tools. The effort, AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative, is designed to bolster collaboration between customers and will be funded with AWS in-kind credits and technical support. The program doesn't support administrative workloads to run routine IT operations.
AWS is one of many technology companies offering free services to pitch in on the COVID-19 containment effort. Earlier in the week, Rescale, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure announced a new program that offers high performance computing resources at no cost to teams working to develop test kits and vaccines for COVID-19.
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For Amazon, a speedier COVID-19 test goes beyond goodwill. Amazon needs more COVID-19 tests for its workforce and warehouses to keep its e-commerce operations running. Meanwhile, AWS as well as cloud computing is serving as the backbone for the newly remote workforce.
AWS in a blog post said it will aim to accelerate research and development for diagnostics to boost treatment and containment to flatten the curve of the pandemic. The program will be open to research institutions and private organizations using AWS for research workloads and diagnostic development.