The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Diagnostic Development Initiative (DDI) is a two-year, $20M commitment to accelerate research and innovation to advance the collective understanding and detection of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in order to mitigate current and future outbreaks. AWS is offering AWS Promotional Credits and technical expertise to support the use of AWS services for projects by selected institutions and companies in four program areas: early disease detection, diagnostics, prognosis, and public health genomics.
Early Disease Detection
Just like early warning weather systems, the ability to forecast an outbreak can have tremendous impact on the preparedness and response of communities, businesses, and governments globally. Building on the vision of DDI to support our customers’ development of diagnostic solutions to mitigate future outbreaks, early disease detection means early warning to help reduce or contain an outbreak.
Eligible projects can include early warning systems, connected medical devices (stethoscope, ECG, pulse ox, etc.), wearables, or medical Internet of Things (IoT) to identify or detect pre-diagnostic factors (body temperature, activity, human and animal population density) associated with infectious cases or potential outbreak sites.
By making diagnostic testing widely available via a variety of different methodologies, we are looking to support efforts that can potentially predict and prevent future outbreaks while at the same time adding new tools available in the fight against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. We will support innovation in rapid and accurate diagnostic testing with an emphasis on point-of-care, in-home, or in the field diagnostics.
Eligible projects can include molecular (nucleic acid, antibody, or antigen) tests, in addition to imaging diagnostics (MRI, CT scan, Ultrasound, X-Ray), connected medical devices, wearables, medical IoT, or predictive analytic tools like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
In addition to a yes/no diagnosis, it is important to develop a better understanding of a disease’s severity level or have the ability to project progression. This will not only provide doctors and clinicians more information to determine their next course of action, but also help future diagnoses that include information on expected progression or severity of outcomes for a patient.
Eligible projects can include assessment or analyses of molecular factors (genetic, inflammatory, or metabolic landscape), health co-morbidities, or ethnic, demographic, or socioeconomic factors to guide patient treatment courses and improve patient outcomes.
Public health genomics
SARS-CoV-2 continues to mutate, potentially augmenting its infectivity, transmissibility, and virulence. Such genomic changes have critical implications for pandemic management and response. Even though genomic surveillance is not by itself a diagnostic product, nearly any product using molecular methods for COVID-19 diagnosis relies on current and comprehensive understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. We will support the genomics community to facilitate the collection and sharing of viral genomic data in this crucial time. In order to democratize access to this type of information, applicants are required to submit SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequence data to an open data repository such as PubSeq, NCBI SRA, the European Nucleotide Archive, or the DNA Database of Japan.
Eligible projects can include viral genomes sequencing, viral genomic surveillance, and sequences made available on open data repositories.
We will accept applications through December 31, 2021, with priority consideration given to applications received before July 31, 2021.
DDI Program Support
AWS Promotional Credits: Selected DDI program recipients will be eligible to receive AWS Promotional Credits, which we will automatically apply to your AWS account to support your AWS service usage in support of your project. Credits help customers reduce or eliminate the cost to use AWS services. AWS Promotional Credit is subject to the AWS Promotional Credit Terms and Conditions.
Technical Expertise: DDI program recipients can apply to receive technical expertise via AWS Professional Services (ProServe). ProServe works together with program recipients to provide assistance through a collection of offerings to help customers achieve specific outcomes related to enterprise cloud adoption.
AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative in the News
Frequently Asked Questions
General information for applicants
Q: What types of projects will AWS fund?
The AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative will support projects that are using AWS to support research-oriented workloads across four program areas: early disease detection, diagnostics, prognosis, and public health genomics. Given the need, the emphasis initially will be on COVID-19, but we will also consider applications for other infectious diseases. We will not support administrative workloads to run routine IT operations through this program.
Q: What kind of support is the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative making available to applicants?
We are committing $20 million over two years to accelerate research, innovation, and development to speed our collective understanding and detection of COVID-19 and other innovative solutions in four areas to mitigate current and future infectious disease outbreaks. We are providing support through a combination of AWS Promotional Credits and AWS technical expertise to assist applicants in harnessing the full potential of the cloud to tackle this challenge.
Q: Who can apply?
The program is open to accredited research institutions, research consortia, non-profit, and private entities that are current or future AWS customers. Individuals who submit an application must apply on behalf of their organization and not in their personal capacity. AWS Partner Network members are also eligible for this program.
Q: Do I currently have to be an AWS customer to apply?
No, not at the time of application submission. Applicants will need to create an AWS account if you are accepted into the DDI program because the program benefits include AWS Promotional Credits and AWS technical expertise.
Q: Can I submit an application if I already received support from the program in 2020?
Yes, if you are a DDI recipient from last year, you are eligible to apply, but you must submit a new application. In your application, identify how this new application is either building on your previous DDI supported project or a new, distinct project.
Q: Is this a global program?
Yes, we encourage applications from researchers and organizations around the world.
Q: My company is looking for data to help with my research and/or project activities, how can AWS help me find the data I need?
AWS customers can use AWS Data Exchange to find, subscribe to and use third party data in AWS. AWS is working with data providers to make de-identified data from multiple sources available at no cost in machine-readable formats. Examples include the Corona Data Scraper, the COVID Tracking Project, and USA Hospital Bed Utilizations. Click here to browse all COVID-19 related data on AWS Data Exchange and if you need additional data sources that are not available on AWS Data Exchange, click here. Data can also be accessed at the Registry of Open Data. Data listed in the Registry of Open Data are typically world-readable and freely accessible for data users. For all COVID-19 related datasets listed in the Registry of Open Data, click here. To learn more about Open Data on AWS, visit opendata.aws.
Application preparation and review
Q: Is an institution-provided or organization-provided email address required?
Yes, we require applicants to provide their official institution-issued email address or official company-provided email address to expedite the verification and decision process.
Q: What services are eligible for AWS Promotional Credits?
Eligible AWS service categories include AWS compute, storage, database, ML, AI, analytics, containers, robotics, quantum services, and more. You can explore AWS services and products at https://aws.amazon.com/. There are some services that are not eligible, see AWS Promotional Credit Terms and Conditions for more details.
Q: What are the Terms and Conditions for accepting and using AWS Promotional Credits?
Please refer to the AWS Promotional Credit Terms and Conditions for details.
Q: What type of support is provided by AWS technical experts?
AWS Professional Services (ProServe) is a global team of experts that can supplement your team with specialized skills and experience to help you achieve the results of your project on AWS. ProServe provides assistance through a collection of offerings which help you achieve specific outcomes related to enterprise cloud adoption. They deliver focused guidance through global specialty practices, which cover a variety of solutions, technologies, and industries. Specialty practices deliver targeted guidance through best practices, frameworks, tools, and services across solution, technology, and industry subject areas. Their deep expertise will help you take advantage of the benefits available with the AWS Cloud. All ProServe engagements will be subject to further approvals and negotiation of a statement of work.
Q: What factors will AWS consider in determining who receives support?
We approve applications based on factors such as alignment with the four DDI program areas: stage of the research or proposed project; potential to disseminate the results and data through sharing a pipeline or software; succinctly defined milestones; project scope and timeline; the applicability of AWS services and support within the project scope; and value of AWS Promotional Credits requested suited to the scope of the project (as evidenced by a Simple Monthly Calculator to substantiate the requested amount). While AWS will prioritize COVID-19 projects, the program will also evaluate applications focusing on other infectious diseases. Any credits or technical expertise will be awarded at AWS's sole discretion. Please note that the intent of the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative is to support applications deployed on AWS that address the four DDI program categories. This program does not support administrative workloads to run routine IT operations on AWS.
Q: How does the notification process work?
Applicants who submit an application will receive an acknowledgement email within 48 hours, confirming receipt. In most cases, we will notify you within approximately 45 business days of receipt with a status of your application. In the event 45 business days have passed without a notification, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide an interim status update as soon as possible.
Q: Will you provide a reason if my request is not approved?
Unfortunately, due to the number of applications, we are unable to provide detailed reasons on an individual basis.
Q: May I apply again if AWS does not approve my project?
Yes. You may reapply, but please make sure that new applications contain revised or additional information and are not simply a re-submission of the original proposal.
Q: What are the timelines for proposal submissions and decisions?
We will accept applications through the December 31, 2021, with priority consideration given to applications received before July 31, 2021. We evaluate proposals on a monthly basis, and provide decisions via email to all applicants; we will communicate decisions to individual applicants within approximately 45 business days of application submission. Note that decisions are sent from email@example.com and are sometimes routed to spam. Please enable your spam filter to allow incoming emails from this address.
Q: If selected as a DDI Recipient, will you automatically apply AWS Promotional Credits and technical expertise to my AWS account?
If your application is approved, before you can receive any AWS Promotional Credits or technical expertise, you will need to sign a DDI Credit Agreement. This will outline the proposed project description and milestones, credit award amount, reporting schedule, your obligations related to participation in this program, and a publicity release allowing AWS to use your name and logo to identify you as a DDI participant. You will also be required to provide us with a valid AWS account ID. This account must be linked to an institution or company email address and account sharing must be disabled. Any technical expertise will be subject to further approvals and may require negotiation of a statement of work. AWS’s provision of any AWS Promotional Credits and/or technical expertise is at AWS's sole discretion.
Q: Why did I receive a lower amount of AWS Promotional Credit or a different level of technical expertise than I requested?
We may choose to award less credits or adjusted technical expertise levels for a number of reasons, including encouraging a different cost model leveraging Spot Instances or providing support for a smaller, initial proof of concept portion of a new project.
Q: How do I acknowledge AWS support for my research project work (e.g., in publications or website)?
AWS Promotional Credits and billing
Q: Is the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative a pricing discount on AWS service costs?
No. All AWS pricing is public, and applies to all customer segments. For more details on our services pricing and our pricing philosophy, please refer to the AWS pricing page.
Q: How long is AWS Promotional Credit valid?
We will issue DDI credits with an expiration date of 12 months from when it is redeemed into the AWS account. Requests for expiration dates beyond this period will be considered on a case-by-case basis. AWS Promotional Credit is provided to applicants under the AWS Promotional Credit Terms and Conditions.
Q: What happens when my AWS Promotional Credit expires?
We will charge any subsequent AWS services usage on the account after promotional credits expire or you fully use the amount, to the billing method provided on the AWS account.
Q: Do credit recipients have to use an AWS account and credit card?
Yes. For new AWS customers, you will need to provide a valid credit card to activate an AWS account and redeem any AWS Promotional Credit. Subject to the AWS Promotional Credit Terms and Conditions, your credit card will not be charged fees for eligible services until you incur fees for eligible services that exceed available AWS Promotional Credit. Please be aware that some services are not eligible for AWS Promotional Credit, and you will be billed for any use of these services.