AWS Public Sector Blog

Young woman holding a notebook in front of a board in a classroom

Education transforming like never before

In 2020, education transformed like never before. Educational institutions needed to be able to provide students, teachers, and staff with immediate access to education and AWS helped customers and partners modernize their systems and applications and reach learners remotely, quickly, and at scale. In 2021, innovation continues in the world of teaching, learning, and research—as well as the use of technology to automate processes and drive better student outcomes.

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Astronaut Peggy Whitson and Clint Crosier discuss AWS aerospace and satellite

Celebrating 40 years of space exploration

Space exploration has advanced significantly over the past 40 years. With missions like the space shuttle, NASA has led the way, demonstrating for the world their ability to push the boundaries of technological innovation to explore space, collect data, and enable scientific knowledge to make the world a better place. We are now in an exciting and daring new age as more organizations around the world are looking to explore space and achieve a sustainable operating presence. And fulfilling space-based missions demands innovation. Learn how AWS is supporting customers globally to push the boundaries of space exploration.

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Michael Snyder of Stanford University

AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative helps nonprofits harness the cloud to research and combat COVID-19

We’ve helped multiple nonprofit research organizations advance their COVID-19 research through our AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative, first launched in March 2020. The next round of funding opens today. As we launch the next phase, we are excited to broaden the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative’s scope and distribute the remaining $12 million this year. We will accept applications through the end of the year, with priority consideration given to applications received before July 31. Check out a few examples of the nonprofit research projects supported by the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative.

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navy ships at sea aerial view

Naval Research & Development Establishment (NR&DE) provides the US Navy access to AWS Secret Region

In June 2019, Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific (NIWC PAC) awarded AWS the first Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) in the US DoD for DoD Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide IL-6 cloud services. This BPA allows for Navy customers to bring the benefits of commercial cloud to Secret workloads. In 2020, NIWC PAC made available the first AWS Secret Region IL-6 environment available for both internal customers residing on the NIWC PAC Secret Wide Area Network (SWAN) and external DoD and U.S. Department of the Navy customers. To support external customers, NIWC PAC deployed SkyDesk, a Citrix Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution that allows any SIPRNet terminal to connect and access the NR&DE IL-6 Cloud.

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open road leading to horizon

Inspired by our customers’ mission outcomes

I recently had the opportunity to record the keynote for this year’s AWS Public Sector Summit Online. This year’s keynote theme is “Inspiration Everywhere,” and I can’t wait to share a number of inspiring stories and examples from our customers with you when the keynote airs on April 15. What unites all of the stories is a commitment to achieving mission outcomes with AWS and cloud computing. And while we’ll spend some time talking about the technology, I’ll also share with you the organizational changes that mission owners can drive, today, to move fast, be responsive, and maximize the impact of limited resources.

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Using big data to help governments make better policy decisions

In Europe, government agencies and policy makers see the value in using new technology to unlock digital transformation and deliver better, more innovative citizen services. Using data for statistics initiatives, including open data, can help researchers produce innovative products and tools, including visualisation, to inform government officials ahead of making policy decisions that impact their citizens. When it comes to big data, policy makers need to collaborate with researchers to address issues and challenges in using these new data sources. To work toward this goal, Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, hosted its bi-annual European Big Data Hackathon.

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human genome

Accelerating genome assembly with AWS Graviton2

One of the biggest scientific achievements of the twenty-first century was the completion of the Human Genome Project and the publication of a draft human genome. The project took over 13 years to complete and remains one of the largest private-public international collaborations ever. Advances since in sequencing technologies, computational hardware, and novel algorithms reduced the time it takes to produce a human genome assembly to only a few days, at a fraction of the cost. This made using the human genome draft for precision and personalized medicine more achievable. In this blog, we demonstrate how to do a genome assembly in the cloud in a cost-efficient manner using ARM-based AWS Graviton2 instances.

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four women collaborate over a laptop

Raising the bar with inclusion, diversity, and equity: Creating an environment for women to thrive in tech

At AWS, we place a high priority on innovation. And innovation is best served by a diverse team, which is why we support organizations like Girls in Tech, a global nonprofit of more than 70,000 members, that advocates for diversity, equality, and inclusion in the technology industry. A report from NCWIT found that women earned 57% of all bachelor’s degrees in 2019, yet only 21% of computer and information sciences bachelor’s degrees. And while women hold 57% of all professional occupations in the US workforce, they hold only 26% of all computing occupations. And, the numbers of women in STEM drop down to the low single digits when you look at BIPOC women. It is clear—the time for change is now.

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AWS EEIP

AWS announces the opening of the 2021 intake for its Equity Equivalent Investment Program in South Africa

According to the IFC, small business ownership in South Africa reflects patterns of racial and gender-based inequality in the broader South African society, and as the size of businesses grows, the rates of black and female ownership decline. At AWS, we believe that building diverse teams allows us to innovate better for our customers. To work toward this, in 2019, AWS South Africa launched the AWS Equity Equivalent Investment Program (AWS EEIP), as part of its Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) program. The AWS EEIP is a Partner development and acceleration program for 100% black owned small IT businesses in South Africa. Applications for the 2021 intake are now open.

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AWS Space Accelerator

Announcing the AWS Space Accelerator for startups

As the global aerospace and satellite industry enters a new age, leveraging the power of startups will drive innovation and improve accessibility to space data. AWS understands the importance of creating and nurturing startup communities, and today, we are proud to announce the launch of the AWS Space Accelerator. The AWS Space Accelerator is a four-week business support program that is open to space startups seeking to use AWS to help solve the biggest challenges in the space industry. Applications are open today and proposals are due by April 21, 2021.

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