AWS Public Sector Blog

Announcing the 2023-2024 AWS IMAGINE Grant winners

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As I reflect on what is happening around the world at this moment, and the people impacted, I feel heavy yet hopeful. What gives me hope are the nonprofit organizations that I am thrilled to share with you today, who are among thousands of organizations around the globe filling vital gaps in services and support for our people and planet.

Today, I have the privilege of announcing our 2023-2024 Amazon Web Services (AWS) IMAGINE Grant winners. Each year, we award nonprofit organizations using cloud technology to drive mission-critical impact for their beneficiaries. We also launched the IMAGINE Grant for the first time in the U.K., and look forward to extending this opportunity globally. What’s exciting about these organizations is their purposeful adoption of technology and effective use of data, with the vision of maximizing their uniquely human capacities.

Among this cohort are nonprofits on the cutting edge of what’s possible with technology. For example, among many visionary use cases, they’re:

  • Using generative artificial intelligence (AI) to provide scaled, trusted support for individuals in mental health and humanitarian crises
  • Utilizing high-performance computing to analyze massive amounts of data to model and forecast risks and interventions that protect the health of our planet
  • Democratizing access to health research to enable faster time to cures for cancer and infectious diseases

Ultimately, what it comes down to, is that time matters. Minutes matter. Seconds matter. And to that end, we at AWS want to make it far easier to bring your data together, apply AI and machine learning (ML) to the right use case at the right time, and enable the most comprehensive insights possible that accelerate your time to impact.

There are two awards for the AWS IMAGINE Grant: the Go Further, Faster award and the Momentum to Modernize award. The Go Further, Faster award provides support for think big projects that use cloud technology to support highly innovative ways to deliver on their missions. The Momentum to Modernize award provides resources for nonprofits to pursue foundational and transformational infrastructure projects.

This year’s winners of the Go Further, Faster award include:

  • Crisis Text Line is developing applications based on large language models (LLMs), to enhance highly-nuanced crisis conversations at a level of depth and speed not attainable in the past, ultimately decreasing time to intervention for individuals at risk of harming themselves or others.
  • CTrees supports action on climate change by providing accurate, science-based data on carbon in forests and trees globally. It is extending the capability of its free carbon data tool by integrating higher image resolution, ingesting more satellite data, and improving frontend visualization using deep learning AI.
  • Data Friendly Space is creating a generative AI-powered virtual assistant for humanitarian staff operating in fast-paced, rapidly changing environments. In doing so, humanitarian responders will be equipped with GANNET (Guided Assistance and Navigation for Needs and Emergency Tasks) to access, extract, and visualize life-saving information to boost the timeliness, effectiveness, and accuracy of humanitarian responses worldwide.
  • Fair Trade USA is combining the power of AI and ML and their rich data warehouse to allow their partners to better evaluate supply chain risks and see their impact in the existing Partner Portal. These insights will create even more value for partners and attract new business, thus expanding impact to countless more families via increased incomes, cleaner environments, and life-changing capacity building and empowerment programs.
  • The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center designed Cirro, a cloud-native analysis and information management system (AIMS), for the life sciences sector within academic and research institutions to accelerate research while fostering collaboration. Using cutting-edge cloud capabilities, the system simplifies the ingestion, storage, batch processing, ad-hoc analysis, visualization, and distribution of scientific data to unite innovative research in preventing and eliminating cancer and infectious diseases.
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina is building a comprehensive cloud-based food banking system across the food bank sector by unifying data from 48 different software systems with data warehouse and generative AI. This will drastically improve how we approach food banking by offering comprehensive insights via a user-friendly, intuitive dashboard for staff and clients alike.
  • Orbis International is expanding its AI-assisted technology for millions of people in low-resource areas to screen for diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. This will redefine what is possible during vision screening processes for underserved communities in low- and middle-income countries, with the goal of eradicating avoidable blindness and vision loss globally.
  • Scholarship America is unifying its large data repositories and applying analytics and visualization for deep, detailed, and actionable insights to help fuel new research and identify best practices in scholarship administration, working towards true equity and socio-economic mobility for students nationwide.
  • TED Foundation is creating personalized learning paths, better content discovery, and new opportunities for community building by leveraging generative AI to enhance the user experience around its original TED talks and podcasts, as well as new consumer engagement features, for millions of individuals seeking to spark ideas, foster community, and have a positive impact online and around the world.
  • UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is working with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to build HBCUv, a learning management ecosystem that seeks to reimagine Black education. Designed to provide high quality and culturally rich online learning experiences – both inside and outside of the classroom – HBCUv will launch its course sharing network and community engagement platform in 2024.
  • Who We Play For is building an AI-powered interpretation tool for pediatric electrocardiograms (ECGs) to prevent sudden cardiac arrests among children, which would ultimately revolutionize the way healthcare professionals diagnose and treat heart conditions in children.

The winners of the Momentum to Modernize award include:

  • Charity Navigator is modernizing its data systems, streamlining data processing, and incorporating advanced analytics and visualization tools into its infrastructure, enabling them to offer a more comprehensive overview of charitable organizations.
  • Do Something is building its next-generation member experience and communications architecture on rapidly-scalable, aligned cloud technologies, which will enable the organization to nurture its expanding membership to new levels of civic commitment.
  • Greenwood Genetic Center is building a unified data platform by integrating clinical, genomic, and diagnostic data from several systems into a single data warehouse, helping create a comprehensive view of patient data to shorten the time to diagnosis and enable personalized research to better serve patients and their families across the lifespan.
  • Ronald McDonald House New York is building a data warehouse to centralize its data sources and more easily apply analytics to gain additional insights. This will enable RMH-NY to perform advanced analytics and expedite feedback loops to improve health outcomes for low-income medically complex families.
  • The Aspen Institute is redeveloping its web platform and user functionalities with microservices, serverless, and other modern cloud services. This will improve audience engagement with the Institute and with each other to collaborate and solve real problems facing their communities and the world.
  • The Chicago Lighthouse for People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired is updating their technology and implementing an end-to-end supply chain platform for their Industries program with data lake and visualization. In doing so, they are able to increase revenue and direct additional resources to enhance essential job training and employment for Chicago’s blind and visually impaired community.
  • World Resources Institute’s Data Lab is standardizing and improving technical processes across the organization by building a unified data infrastructure for data science and product development. This will improve the coherence, consistency, and governance of data analysis and delivery across the Institute to ultimately translate science into action in service of people, nature, and climate.
  • Ravinia Festival is improving operational efficiency and cybersecurity by connecting a virtual private cloud (VPC) to its 36-acre campus, migrating mission-critical servers to the VPC, and initiating disaster recovery services at AWS. In doing so, Ravinia will deliver a more resilient customer experience for the more than 600,000 patrons who enjoy North America’s oldest and most musically diverse music festival.
  • Society for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging is aiming to transform precision nuclear medicine for diagnosis and therapy, and ultimately improve oncology patient outcomes, by launching a cloud-based imaging database and developing machine learning algorithms to train new models.
  • The Guthrie Clinic is enhancing the disaster recovery capabilities of their healthcare system by implementing a robust cloud-based solution. With a focus on patient care continuity and data security, they will transition from existing on-premises disaster recovery system to a scalable, cost-effective, and reliable cloud-based infrastructure.
  • African American Credit Union Coalition is building a comprehensive data gathering and analysis system for Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (SACCO) in Africa to collect and aggregate accurate insights into how underserved populations can access more aid to build savings and credit.
  • One Simple Wish is increasing the reliability, scalability and security of their online wish-granting platform by undergoing a complete transformation of their front-end functionality and back-end infrastructure. This will allow them to impact the lives of hundreds of thousands more individuals that have been impacted by foster care and crisis as well as enhance relevant and customized communication with their vast network of community partners and supporters nationwide.

AWS believes that technology—when leveraged strategically—is a powerful force multiplier in solving social and environmental challenges. AWS continues to collaborate with nonprofit organizations around the world to identify and implement the right technology solutions for their mission areas, no matter where they are in their cloud journey.

Winners of the Go Further, Faster award receive up to $150,000 in unrestricted funding, up to $100,000 in AWS Promotional Credit, access to training, and engagement with AWS technical specialists. Winners of the Momentum to Modernize award receive up to $50,000 in unrestricted funding, up to $10,000 in AWS Promotional Credit, and project implementation support.

The application cycle for next year’s AWS IMAGINE Grant will open in the spring of 2024. Sign up to receive email alerts about the launch of the next cycle.

About the IMAGINE Grant

Since the launch of the IMAGINE Grant program in 2018, AWS has awarded more than $7 million in unrestricted funding, AWS cloud computing credit, and AWS training support to 89 nonprofit organizations. Learn more about past recipients in our documentary series.

Learn more about how nonprofits use AWS to advance their missions around the world at the AWS for Nonprofits hub.