Amazon joins NIH cloud computing initiative

Amazon Web Services has joined a cloud computing initiative from the US National Institutes of Health.

Launched in July, the NIH’s Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation, and Sustainability (STRIDES) Initiative aims to harness the power of commercial cloud computing for NIH biomedical researchers.

AWS is the second cloud service provider to join STRIDES, after Google Cloud signed up as the project was launched.

The NIH’s efforts will focus on making high-value data sets more accessible to researchers and experimenting with new ways to optimise technology-intensive research.

The agreement with AWS will help NIS researchers, as well as researchers at more than 2,500 academic institutions across the US receiving NIH support and making use of AWS’s wide range of technologies.

The STRIDES Initiative is part of the NIH Common Fund’s New Models of Data Stewardship Program (NMDS), designed to enhance biomedical discovery and improve efficiency through new digital data management strategies.

The scheme also aims to make data for research findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable in the cloud.

After STRIDES there is one other NMDS scheme – the NIH Data Commons Pilot Phases tests ways to bring high-value biomedical data sets into the cloud and to establish and evaluate best practices for using data.

STRIDES aims to transform fragmented health data into a coordinated and efficient system, and is part of the NIH’s Data Science Strategic Plan.

Andrea Norris, director of NIH’s Center for Information Technology and NIH chief information officer, said: “Teaming with Amazon Web Services will give NIH researchers powerful cloud-based resources to more efficiently collaborate and analyse data.

“Expanding our cloud service provider network will allow us to provide the research community access to the tools they need to advance science. AWS’s longstanding leadership in the cloud space will help bolster the innovative research being conducted through NIH support.”

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