AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

First University-Based Cloud Innovation Centre in Canada to Open in Early 2020

Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced the launch of a Cloud Innovation Centre (CIC) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver. Part of an ongoing relationship between AWS and UBC, the CIC will provide students, staff, and faculty access to cloud technology to advance research projects, while employing Amazon’s innovation processes. The CIC is the first of its kind in Canada.

The CIC will focus on issues of health and wellbeing and is officially called the UBC Community Health and Wellbeing CIC, powered by AWS. It will support student teams tackling real-world issues and challenges, where application of novel and emerging technology or computing approaches are essential. The CIC will change the way UBC teams use cloud technology, drive innovation, and improve agility and cost. Located on the university’s Vancouver campus and slated to officially open in early 2020, teams working on projects will also have in-person support from a Vancouver-based AWS team of cloud computing and data experts.

“The UBC Community Health and Wellbeing CIC will give student teams, supported by staff and faculty, the opportunity to use leading cloud technology from AWS to unlock results for challenge projects faster and generate new insights for our community,” said Simon Bates, Associate Provost, Teaching and Learning at UBC. “The team-based, hands-on approach – coupled with industry expertise — will significantly advance our efforts to support authentic, digital learning experiences for students as well as opportunities for our teams to work with the world’s leading cloud services from AWS.”

“We’re seeing cloud adoption across every segment in Canada, from nonprofits to education and all levels of government,” said Teresa Carlson, Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector at AWS. “The CIC at UBC further accelerates the digital transformation of the Canadian public sector by providing teams access to next-generation cloud technology from AWS that can be used to solve real-world challenges. Our expertise and experience with machine learning, high performance computing, and data analytics will directly help the UBC community in delivering innovative projects.”

Using Amazon’s innovation methodology, dedicated UBC and AWS CIC staff will work with students, staff, and faculty, as well as community, government or not-for-profit organizations to define challenges. The team will engage with subject matter experts, identify potential solutions to the challenges, and to build Proof of Concepts (PoCs). All of the innovation challenge outputs, including the PoCs, will be published as open source for other community members to access and use.

“For the remainder of the year, we will be working with the UBC community, as well as partners in healthcare, nonprofit organizations and government to queue up a selection of challenge. During this time, we will also be securing the location for the CIC on campus, hiring, and fleshing out the operations model supported by colleagues in IT and Teaching and Learning,” said Bates.

This CIC in Canada joins seven other cloud computing research initiatives supported by AWS worldwide, including California Polytechnic University Digital Transformation HubArizona State University Smart City CIC, Munich University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) Digital Transformation Lab, CODE University of Applied Sciences Better Future Lab, Sciences Po Public Innovation Lab, Busan City CIC, and the recently launched Swinburne Data for Social Good CIC.

To find out more about the CIC at UBC, powered by AWS, visit http://cic.ubc.ca/.