For more than 25 years, Amazon has been working to advance the science and application of AI to improve customers’ lives.In that time, we’ve seen that some of the most difficult challenges in AI require collaboration across sectors, such as formulating thoughtful AI regulation that fosters and ensures safe and responsible innovation. That’s why we’re proud to have initiated and supported a range of programs that bring together academia, government, and industry to advance AI research, develop AI talent, and empower entrepreneurs.
In support of efforts by the U.S. and Japan to strengthen cooperation in AI, we are pleased to announce Amazon has entered a new research partnership with the University of Washington, the University of Tsukuba, and NVIDIA. Amazon will invest $25 million in this 10-year collaboration to support four key annual programs:
  • AI research funding to be awarded through an annual call for proposals
  • Funding post-doctoral and PhD fellowships to support promising researchers at each university
  • A 10-week undergraduate summer research program to encourage students’ interest in AI research in both the U.S. and Japan
  • A three-week entrepreneurship bootcamp program
“These renowned universities–the University of Washington and University of Tsukuba–are known for their world-class research and education in AI and computing,” said Rohit Prasad, senior vice president and head scientist of Artificial General Intelligence at Amazon. “We are excited to partner with them and NVIDIA, and for the potential of this partnership to bring together experts across sectors, disciplines, and countries to accelerate critical AI research, and nurture the next generation of AI talent and startup builders.”
The partnership was announced at a signing ceremony at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. on April 9. It is part of a $110 million strategic initiative supported by leading U.S. and Japanese technology companies and universities to advance AI.
A photo of (left to right) Gina Raimondo, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, David Zapolsky, senior vice president, Global Public Policy & General Counsel, and four representatives from participating organizations at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. standing on stage in front of a table to sign for an AI partnership.David Zapolsky, Amazon Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy & General Counsel (second from the left), at the AI research partnership signing ceremony with representatives from participating organizations at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. The ceremony was hosted On April 9, 2024 by Gina Raimondo, U.S. Secretary of Commerce (left).
Amazon’s participation in this initiative continues our legacy of funding advanced research at U.S. universities and extends our close partnership with NVIDIA that goes back more than 13 years. It also reinforces our long-standing commitment to our customers in Japan, where AWS recently announced plans to invest approximately US$15 billion in cloud infrastructure by 2027 to accelerate digital transformation and AI adoption in the country.
This new effort with the University of Washington, the University of Tsukuba, and NVIDIA also expands upon our existing work to foster collaboration between sectors and disciplines. Our University Hubs program fosters technology collaboration and community with multi-year, multi-discipline research funding commitments, PhD fellowships, and technical events. The Amazon Scholars program enables academics to join Amazon and gain real-world expertise in a flexible capacity, without giving up their important research, teaching, and mentoring at their university. And our AWS Public Sector Cloud Credit for Research program awards cloud credit to eligible researchers to accelerate innovation.
In 2019, Amazon launched the Program on Fairness in AI together with the U.S. National Science Foundation. This $21 million initiative has so far provided funding to 34 university-led teams, resulting in a growing body of knowledge in the increasingly important area of fair and responsible AI. We’re looking forward to continuing to increase the range and depth of our partnerships as the exciting field of generative AI develops and matures.
Learn more about AI innovation at Amazon.