Climate Data Initiative

Microsoft Azure for Research Award program

Climate Data InitiativePresident Obama announced a Climate Action Plan with a series of executive actions to predict, prepare for, and address the impacts of global climate change. One of the commitments from the President's Climate Action Plan launched the Climate Data Initiative, an ambitious new effort that will help give communities across the United States the information and tools they need to plan for current and future climate impacts.

Microsoft Research offers technology, tools, and collaboration opportunities to help researchers solve the toughest problems in geoscience and climate research. In response to the Climate Data Initiative, we launched a special opportunity request for proposals (RFP) through the Microsoft Azure for Research program.

Microsoft Azure for Research program

The Microsoft Azure for Research program enables researchers to use Microsoft Azure, an open cloud computing platform, to perform big data computations for collaboration and data-intensive processing. We provide training, tools, resources, and an award program to help you begin to solve some of your research challenges. Here are the special opportunity Climate Data Initiative offerings for you to explore:

  • Climate Data Award:
    • We want to hear about your climate data projects using the cloud that can help transform the way we inform and prepare communities, businesses, and citizens.
    • Submit a proposal before November 15, 2014
  • Food Resilience Climate Data Award:

The Microsoft Azure for Research program will grant 12 months of free Microsoft Azure cloud computing resources with up to 180,000 hours of cloud computing time and 20 terabytes (TB) of cloud storage to be used for the project. Learn more about the program.

Application instructions

Researcher can apply to the program by providing a simple proposal that states the intent of the project and an outline of how your project will use the Microsoft Azure resources. Please note the following application requirements:

Climate Data Initiative Award:

  • Length: Your proposal should be no longer than three pages.
  • Title: The first word in your proposal title must be “CDI” to ensure that your proposal is considered for this award.
  • Submission: Use the online application form to submit your proposal.
  • Deadline: Proposals will not be accepted after November 15, 2014.

Food Resilience Climate Data Award:

  • Length: Your proposal should be no longer than three pages.
  • Title: The first word in your proposal title must be “Agriculture” to ensure that your proposal is considered for this award.
  • Submission: Use the online application form to submit your proposal.
  • Deadline: Proposals will not be accepted after November 15, 2014.

Find answers to questions about submitting proposals in our proposal process FAQ.

Microsoft Research tools relevant to the Climate Data Initiative

Microsoft Research uses Microsoft Azure extensively to build projects that are highly relevant to the Climate Data Initiative. These include:

  • FetchClimate: This climate data-retrieval service provides past and present observations and future extrapolations.
  • Node Atlas: This cloud-based service facilitates ease of data entry and enables a new form of geospatial data exploration. Users can select and perform visual queries by drawing multiple overlapping polygons, lines, and points on a map interface. Search results are then retained both as answers and as the basis for new questions.
  • Layerscape: This cloud-based service enables data-driven storytelling by using a constellation of information management tools surrounding a powerful graphics engine.

Background

Microsoft Research is one of the largest research organizations in the world with more than 1,100 scientists and engineers working in 13 labs across four continents. Our mission has stayed the same for more than 20 years: to advance the state of the art in computing through a combination of basic and applied research.

The reason is simple: innovation is the essence of Microsoft’s products and services. As our researchers solve the toughest problems in computing, share their ideas with the greater research community, and collaborate with Microsoft product groups, they are ensuring that the company—and the computing industry—will continue to find new ways for technology to enhance our world for years to come.

Microsoft Research has a long history of research relating to big data challenges—a major component of that involves our Earth, energy, and environment initiative, especially around geoscience and climate research; we are excited to participate in the Climate Data Initiative launch. We hope to explore and contribute to the translation of scientific research and information to practical use among policy- and decision-makers who are charged with anticipating, preparing for, and adapting to current and future impacts of climate change.