C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute

The C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute (C3.ai DTI) is a new research consortium established by C3.ai, Microsoft Corporation, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), the University of California, Berkeley, Princeton University, the University of Chicago, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at UIUC. Jointly managed and hosted by UC Berkeley and UIUC, C3.ai DTI was created to establish the new Science of Digital Transformation of Societal Systems.



C3.ai DTI’s mission is to attract the world’s leading scientists to join in a coordinated and innovative effort to advance the digital transformation of business, government, and society. Through partnerships with leading universities and strategic engagement with key industry partners, C3.ai DTI will catalyze advances in mathematical, statistical, and computing research, including Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT). Through fundamental scientific advances, algorithms, mechanism designs, business change management practices, and social, legal, and ethical considerations, C3.ai DTI will develop the tools and design thinking necessary to effect digital transformation in basic and applied sciences, diverse industry sectors, and critical infrastructures.

Immediate First Call for Proposals

AI Techniques to Mitigate Pandemic

Research Topics:

  • Applying machine learning/AI methods to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Genome-specific COVID-19 medical protocols, including precision medicine of host responses
  • Biomedical informatics methods for drug design and repurposing
  • Design and sharing of clinical trials for collecting and analyzing data on medications, therapies, and interventions
  • Modeling, simulation, prediction of COVID-19 propagation and efficacy of interventions
  • Logistics and optimization analysis for design of public health strategies and interventions
  • Rigorous approaches to designing sampling and testing strategies
  • Data analytics for COVID-19 research harnessing private and sensitive data, including the role of edge computing/IoT for gathering data
  • Improving societal resilience in response to the spread of COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Broader efforts in biomedicine, infectious disease modeling, response logistics and optimization, public health efforts, tools, and methodologies around the containment of rising infectious diseases, and response to pandemics so as to be better prepared for future infectious diseases.

Up to $5.8 million in awards will be funded from this first call, ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 each. In addition to cash awards, C3.ai DTI recipients will be provided with significant cloud computing, supercomputing, data access, and AI software resources and technical support provided by Microsoft and C3.ai. This will include unlimited use of the C3 AI Suite and access to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and access to the Blue Waters supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at UIUC.

The first call for proposals is open now, with a deadline of May 1, 2020. Researchers are invited to learn more about C3.ai DTI and how to submit their proposals for consideration at C3DTI.ai.  Selected proposals will be announced by June 1, 2020.

C3.ai DTI Programs

Research Award Program

Research Award Program

Through a semi-annual Call for Research Proposals process managed by UC Berkeley and UIUC, C3.ai DTI will annually award up to 26 cash awards, of $100,000, $200,000 and $500,000 each. The university leads will review the proposals and make the awards, that will be for 12 months in duration.

In addition to the cash awards, the C3.ai DTI awards provide recipients with significant cloud computing, supercomputing, data, and software resources. This will include unlimited use of the C3 AI Suite and access to the Blue Waters supercomputer at NCSA.

Multidisciplinary and multi-institution projects will be favored. Recipients will be encouraged to conduct breakthrough research and to pursue and establish larger research projects with federal and other funding sources.

Award recipients will disseminate the results of their research during the award period, and all research results, methods, and algorithms, including algorithms and software from their research, will be made freely available in the public domain (non-exclusive royalty-free).

Computing Resources

Computing Resources

Researchers are provided with access to free Microsoft Azure Cloud and C3 AI Suite resources.

Resources available to C3.ai DTI from National Center for Supercomputing Applications include:

  • 110,000 node hours on Blue Waters in 2020 for up to 20 research projects in 2020
  • 800,000 node hours on a GPU System in 2021 for up to 20 research projects in 2021
  • 800,000 node hours on a GPU System in 2022-2024 for up to 40 research projects per year

Resources available to C3.ai DTI from Microsoft Azure include:

  • $2 million per year in Microsoft Azure compute, storage, and Azure services
  • Cloud infrastructure to support 180 researchers

Resources available to C3.ai DTI from C3.ai include:

  • Unlimited use of the C3 AI Suite software
  • Up to $10 million per year in C3 Runtime

Visiting Professors & Research Scientists

Visiting Professors & Research Scientists

C3.ai DTI will provide $750,000 per year to each of UC Berkeley and UIUC to support C3.ai DTI Visiting Scholars at each of their respective campuses. These funds will support 6-10 person-years each year. Visiting scholars will include distinguished researchers chosen from all over the world, who will conduct collaborative research, teach, and publish substantive works contributing to the new digital transformation science.

Curriculum Development

Curriculum Development

C3.ai DTI will make annual awards – including up to 10 competitive awards of up to $50,000 each – to faculty at member institutions to develop undergraduate and graduate-level curricula that teach the emerging field of Digital Transformation Science. Course topics will include AI and IoT techniques, cybersecurity, privacy, ethics, and robust machine learning.

The C3.ai DTI Visiting Scholars will be required to teach at least one self-contained course module (15-30 hours podium time that will be recorded and curated) to be webcast to the Consortium Partners and Industry Partners. Scholars will also be expected to teach one industry-oriented short course. Distance learning curricula (such as Coursera or edX) will be encouraged.

The C3.ai DTI Visiting Scholars will be encouraged to broaden the reach of the Institute beyond the partner institutions. It is expected that C3.ai DTI Visiting Scholars will publish substantive works to contribute to the science within the year, in the form of longer working papers, algorithms and software, or monographs.

All research results, including methods, algorithms and software resulting from the collaborative research conducted by the C3.ai DTI Visiting Scholars will be made freely available in the public domain.

Data Analytics Platform

Data Analytics Platform

C3.ai DTI will host an elastic cloud, big data, development, and operating platform, including the C3 AI Suite hosted in a Microsoft Azure instance, for the purpose of supporting C3.ai DTI research, curriculum development, and classwork. In addition, UC Berkeley and UIUC will provide additional elastic cloud computing and storage resources, including use of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) Blue Waters at UIUC.

These resources will be available to award recipients to conduct research on the development of AI machine learning algorithms, data security techniques, and cyber security methodologies related specifically to AI and IoT. The AI/Machine Learning and Data Analytics platform will also serve as an instructional and research platform for Digital Transformation Science courses.

Educational Program

Educational Program

C3.ai DTI will develop and manage a robust Educational Program that includes an annual conference, annual report, newsletters, published research, and a dedicated C3.ai DTI website. C3.ai will provide up to $750,000 annually to support the C3.ai DTI Educational Program.

Industry Program

Industry Program

C3.ai DTI will have an active Industry Partners program that brings in leading companies globally to engage with C3.ai DTI researchers and C3.ai DTI activities. Industry Partners will each contribute $100,000 per year to support C3.ai DTI’s operations.

Industry Partners will have the opportunity to contribute data sets that will be available for research after anonymization. Industry Partners will also be invited to participate in research projects, the annual C3.ai DTI Conference and Industry Short Courses.

What People Are Saying

Tom Siebel

“The C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute is a consortium of leading scientists, researchers, innovators, and executives from academia and industry, joining forces to accelerate the social and economic benefits of digital transformation. We have the opportunity through public-private partnership to change the course of a global pandemic. I cannot imagine a more important use of AI.”

Thomas M. Siebel, CEO, C3.ai


“We are collecting a massive amount of data about MERS, SARS, and now COVID-19. We have a unique opportunity before us to apply the new sciences of AI and digital transformation to learn from these data how we can better manage these phenomena and avert the worst outcomes for humanity. I can think of no work more important and no response more cogent and timely than this important public-private partnership.”

Condoleezza Rice, Former US Secretary of State

We’re excited about the C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute and are happy to join on a shared mission to accelerate research at these eminent research institutions. As we launch this exciting private-public partnership, we’re enthusiastic about aiming the broader goals of the Institute at urgent challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as on longer-term research that could help to minimize future pandemics.”

Eric Horvitz, Chief Scientist, Microsoft


“At UC Berkeley, we are thrilled to help co-lead this important endeavor to establish and advance the science of digital transformation at the nexus of machine learning, IoT, and cloud computing. We believe this Institute has the potential to make tremendous contributions by including ethics, new business models, and public policy to the technologies for transforming societal scale systems globally.”

Carol Christ, Chancellor, UC Berkeley


“The C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute, with its vision of cross-institutional and multi-disciplinary collaboration, represents an exciting model to help accelerate innovation in this important new field of study. At this time of a global health crisis, the Institute’s initial research focus will be on applying AI to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and to learn from it how to protect the world from future pandemics. C3.ai DTI is an important addition to the world’s fight against this disease and a powerful new resource in developing solutions to all societal challenges.”

Robert J. Jones, Chancellor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois

“Together with the other C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute partners, we look forward to creating a powerful ecosystem of scholars and educators committed to applying 21st century technologies to the benefit of all. This public-private partnership with innovators like C3.ai and Microsoft, providing support to world-class researchers across a range of disciplines, promises to bring rapid innovation to an exciting new frontier.”

Chris Eisgruber, President, Princeton University

Princeton University

“By strongly supporting multidisciplinary research and multi-institution projects, the C3.ai DTI represents a new avenue to develop breakthrough scientific results with a positive impact on society at a time of great need. I’m very pleased that the University of Chicago is part of this formidable collaboration between academia and industry to lead crucial innovation with great purpose and urgency.”

Robert Zimmer, President, University of Chicago

University of Chicage

Farnam Jahanian

“The vision of C3.ai DTI is driven by the recognition of digital transformation as both a science as well as a scientific imperative for this pivotal time, applicable to every sector of our economy across the public and private sectors, including in healthcare, education, and public health. We are excited to participate in building out the Institute’s structure, program and further alliances. This is just the beginning of an ambitious journey that can have enormous positive impact on the world.”

Farnam Jahanian, President, Carnegie Mellon University

Rafael Reif

“At MIT, we share the commitment of C3.ai DTI to advancing the frontiers of AI, cybersecurity and related fields while building into every inquiry a deep concern for ethics, privacy, equity and the public interest. At this moment of national emergency, we are proud to be part of this intensive effort to apply these sophisticated tools to better analyze the COVID-19 epidemic and devise effective ways to stop it. We look forward to accelerating this work both by collaborating with the companies and institutions in the initiative, and by drawing on the frontline experience and clinical data of our colleagues in Boston’s world-class hospitals.”

Rafael Reif, President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


“This is about global innovation based on multinational collaboration to accelerate the positive impact of AI by providing researchers access to real world data and to massive resources. This is exactly the kind of multinational public-private partnership that is required to address this critical issue.”

Jim Snabe, Chairman, Siemens

“I could not be more proud of our association with C3.ai and Microsoft. This is exactly the kind of leadership that is required to bring together the best of us to address this critical need.”

Lorenzo Simonelli, CEO, Baker Hughes

“In these difficult times, we need – now more than ever – to join our forces with scholars, innovators, and industry experts to propose solutions to complex problems. I am convinced that digital, data science and AI are a key answer. The C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute is a perfect example of what we can do together to make the world better.”

Gwenaëlle Avice-Huet, Executive Vice President, ENGIE

“We are at war and we must win it! Using all means. This great project will organize global scientific collaboration for accelerating the social impact of AI, and help to win this war, using new weapons, for the best of mankind.”

Jacques Attali, French Statesman