The world has many challenges that affect the way we live now and how we will live in the future. In the Global South, these challenges are intensified by population pressures, resource constraints, and environmental degradation. Addressing problems in healthcare, education, water and waste management, energy, and the effects of climate change will require experts from multiple disciplines to work together. Innovations in information technologies and computing can play a critical role in enabling solutions, reducing costs, and speeding up the research process. At MSR, we have worked with leading researchers from around the world to execute cutting-edge research and innovation in computing to address some of these problems. For example, the Technology for Emerging Markets group has spent almost a decade exploring how computing can improve the lives of the most vulnerable populations in the developing world; similarly, Microsoft Research Connections has collaborated with researchers around the world in addressing issues such as HIV/AIDS, rainforest cover in Latin America and water resource management. Catalyst is designed to take work like this to the next level by bringing together changemakers and researchers from different fields to understand the challenges we face and engineer solutions for a better world.
Services and facilities
Catalyst aims to provide a meeting ground for researchers in the ICTD space, foster collaborations and facilitate impactful research in the area. To enable this, Catalyst can provide a number of services to affiliate members depending on the nature of collaboration. These include physical space and infrastructure, networking with academic partners and other researchers, assisting with logistical challenges of field work, and so on. In addition, Catalyst may also provide resources such as cloud computing, depending on the need and nature of collaboration. Catalyst will also organize seminars and workshops on relevant topics to connect researchers, identify challenges, and foster collaboration.
Catalyst is supported by Microsoft Research and specifically by Microsoft Research Connections and the Technology for Emerging Markets (TEM) research teams.
Please contact MSR Catalyst for more details about the Catalyst Affiliate program.
Some current projects at the Catalyst
The following is a sample of some of the projects that are currently in the Catalyst:
2) IVR Junction
Please contact MSR Catalyst if you are interested in these projects.
We are interested in projects from the following non-exhaustive list of research areas:
- Water management
- Waste management
- Online education (all ages)
- Vocational and continuing education for low-income
Governance and civic participation
Nature and wildlife conservation
Please contact us at MSR Catalyst if you’d like to propose a project to us.