Microsoft $1M gift for new UW, UBC urban data partnership

Logos for the University of Washington, Microsoft and the University of British Columbia

By Robin Brooks

The University of Washington and the University of British Columbia are partnering on a new collaboration called the Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative (CUAC), which will connect researchers, students and public stakeholders working on urban issues across the region.

A $1 million donation from Microsoft will allow the two universities to work together using data science to research, innovate and discover sustainable solutions to civic problems in areas such as homelessness, health and transportation.

CUAC will focus on four main programs, including one modeled after the eScience Institute’s Data Science for Social Good program, which brings data and domain scientists together to work on projects that will impact policy for societal benefit. The UW’s portion of CUAC will be overseen by eScience Institute Associate Director Bill Howe’s research group Urbanalytics in collaboration with Urban@UW Director and Senior Data Science Fellow Thaisa Way.

“We have an unprecedented opportunity to use data to help our communities make decisions, and as a result improve people’s lives and well-being. That commitment to the public good is at the core of the mission of our two universities, and we’re grateful to Microsoft for making a community-minded contribution that will spark a range of collaborations,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce in a press release.

For more information please see articles at Microsoft, the University of British Columbia, The Seattle TimesGeekwire, Xconomy, and Voice Online.