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Amazon Initiative to Invest Initial $20M for Coronavirus Diagnostics Development

NEW YORK – Amazon said Friday it is investing an initial $20 million through its AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative to accelerate diagnostic research, innovation, and development that speeds understanding and detection of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The company said in its Dayone blog that the initiative will be open to accredited research institutions and private entities that are using Amazon Web Services to support research-oriented workloads for the development of point-of-care testing that can be done at home or at a clinic with same-day results.

Amazon Web Services business is launching the initiative with participation from 35 global research institutions, startups, and businesses focused on tackling challenges associated with the pandemic, the firm said.

Given the need, the initiative will place initial emphasis on COVID-19, but it will also consider other infectious disease diagnostic projects, Amazon added.

The company said it will provide funding through a combination of Amazon Web Services in-kind credits and technical support to assist its customers’ research teams in harnessing the potential of cloud computing to tackle challenges associated with the pandemic.

Although research into vaccine development and treatment is generally funded by private foundations and government agencies, fast and reliable diagnostic techniques are slow to be developed, the firm noted.