Microsoft invests $1 million in Cascadia Innovation Corridor analytics

Dave W. Shanahan

The Cascadia Innovation Corridor (CIC) is an investment partnership between the cities of Vancouver and Seattle to boost economic prosperity within each community. In support of this initiative, Microsoft is making a $1 million donation to the Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative (CUAC), which is a joint data analytics effort between University of British Columbia (UBC) and the University of Washington (UW).

The CUAC is the region’s largest university-based, industry-funded community initiative. UBC and UW are tracking a lot of community data to help both cities tackle their problems, including transportation, housing and climate issues in Vancouver and Seattle. The CUAC will bring together university researchers from UBC and UW to utilize local industries; such as computing, life sciences, aerospace, interactive entertainment, and data science.

In the last 10 years, UBC and UW have worked together on a variety of other research projects, but never at the scale that Microsoft’s $1 million donation will provide. Both UBC and UW believe that the CUAC will have a positive effect on not only Vancouver and Seattle, but will also promote similar projects between other universities throughout the US and Canada.

The CUAC will continue the successful work of UW’s eScience Institute, Data Science for Social Good summer program, and UBC’s Data Science Institute, as well as a project that uses ORCA data; Seattle’s bus, train, and ferry transit system.

The CUAC hopes to make the Pacific Northwest a worldwide model for using data analytics to improve everyone’s lives and make the world a better place to live.