Microsoft’s Azure4Research program lends the Redmond giant’s cloud resources to researchers who are exploring emerging challenges in the field. Recently, the company revealed the winners out of the latest batch of applicants, a total of six universities.

Climate Research, Industrial Automation, and Green Building Technologies

Microsoft’s winners cover a wide range of technologies and solutions, from wireless sensor nodes to electrical data visualization. The selected universities were based across the US and UK.

Among them was the Rolls-Royce Technology Center at Sheffield University. A team will explore the use of wireless sensor nodes and predictive cloud analytics to monitor industrial machinery. The goal is to gain further understand the performance limitations of wireless sensing.

The Center for Green Building and Cities at Harvard University Graduate School of Design also won. Microsoft’s grant will go towards the renovation of a three-story home, which will contain building automation, data visualization, and augmented reality technologies. The idea is to find methods that will revolutionize the building industry.

The Liverpool University’s School of Environmental Science is looking at green technology, too. Rather than building, the focus is on the collection and analysis of climate data. A feasibility study will assess the development of a cloud service to streamline the development of cross-platform climate data apps.

The Department of Electrical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University is also making use of big data. The team will use Azure resources to investigate the use of data visualization and algorithms in power grid management. Carnegie Mellon will simulate a grid with over 100,000 buses.

In return for Microsoft’s computing power, the research teams will create freely available case studies and curriculums from the academic community. The idea is to foster innovation and show students the merits of IoT.

You can find more information about the winners on the IoT blog.