Supporting diversity: Azure funding awarded


Employees carrying out research projects in Azure in the summer semester 2024 were able to apply for funding from the ZID until 31.12.2023. The funded projects have been finalised since mid-January.

A total of 8 projects were submitted that fulfil the funding requirements and will therefore receive financial support. The aim is to promote research in Azure and make Azure attractive for a wide range of disciplines.

“So far, Azure has mainly been used by computer scientists,” reports Fabian Jusufi from the Coordination Digital Transformation team, which is responsible for the Azure service. He is pleased that many applications have been submitted and that the funding is fulfilling its purpose: “The applications we have received are a colourful mix. We are now funding research projects from the fields of translation studies, journalism, pharmaceutical sciences, meteorology and evolutionary anthropology, among others. This great diversity surprised us and shows how interesting the Microsoft Azure service is for researchers at the entire University of Vienna.”

Just like the disciplines, the topics are also broadly diversified: for example, the projects deal with improving machine translations for the technical field or mapping odour perception. Alternative approaches to analysing the relationship between citizens and politicians are also being researched, as well as ways of comparing information available on the web and highlighting contradictions within it.

In order to be able to support all projects despite the great interest, the maximum funding amount was limited to 4,000.00 euros per project and the funding pot was increased from 20,000.00 to 22,000.00 euros. 

3 projects have been prioritised and will receive funding of 4,000.00 euros. They either utilise hybrid approaches, i.e. combine Azure services with local infrastructure, or use Azure services for which the ZID offers no alternative. A further 5 projects are being funded with 2,000.00 euros.

The focus of the research projects is on using services for artificial intelligence or virtual machines with powerful graphics processing units (GPUs) in Azure. The Coordination Digital Transformation team sets up the Azure environments for the projects, the implementation phase of which begins in February 2024. These must be carried out in Azure by 31.07.2024.

A complete list of the funded research projects including abstracts can be found under Funding for research with Azure services.

[Translate to Englisch:] Illustration Azure-Förderung