Amazon launches Canada’s first Cloud Innovation Centre at UBC

Jul 10 2019, 6:52 pm

Earlier today, Amazon announced the launch of a Cloud Innovation Centre (CIC) at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

The announcement was made at Amazon’s annual IMAGINE education conference in Seattle. The new initiative is part of an ongoing relationship between Amazon Web Services (AWS) and UBC and is the first of its kind in Canada.

A cloud innovation centre is a public-private collaboration between a chosen sponsor and Amazon. The sponsor, who works in the public sector, identifies digital transformation challenges.

In return, AWS brings Amazon’s innovation processes, cloud expertise, and global solution reach-back so that both parties can find the best solutions for the given challenges.

The CIC, which is officially being called the UBC Community Health and Wellbeing CIC, will see students, staff, and faculty focus on issues surrounding mental and physical health and wellbeing.

Those who use the innovation centre will work with community, government, and non-profit organizations (NPOs) to define a set of challenges. Then, the team will work with field experts to identify potential solutions and build what AWS calls “Proof of Concepts” (PoCs).

Results of each study, including the PoCs, will be published on the cloud as an open source of information for others to access and use.

“For the remainder of the year, we will be working with the UBC community, as well as partners in healthcare, NPOs, and government to queue up a selection of challenges to begin working on,” says Simon Bates, associate provost in Teaching and Learning at UBC.

According to AWS, the innovation centre will contribute to growing Canda’s public sector, as well as improve the agility and cost of projects that UBC teams take on.

“We’re seeing cloud adoption across every segment in Canada,” says 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.”

The CIC joins seven other initiatives funded by the AWS worldwide. There are currently hubs at Californa Polytechnic University, Arizona State University, the Munich University of Applied Sciences, and CODE University of Applied Sciences, among others.

UBC’s Cloud Innovation Centre is expected to launch in early 2020.

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