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Amazon Launches Amazon Women in Innovation Bursary at Leading UK Universities to Support British Innovation

New bursaries at Churchill College in the University of Cambridge and King’s College London follows successful engineering bursary offered for the past two years at the University of Edinburgh

Universities chosen based on proximity to Amazon’s three Development Centres in the UK

Bursaries part of UK-wide Amazon in the Community programme

London - Wednesday 6th September 2016 - Amazon UK today announced the launch of the Amazon Women in Innovation Bursary created to help young women from less advantaged backgrounds fulfil their ambitions of a career in innovation and technology. Amazon will now support bursaries at universities in cities where it has a Development Centre, including the University of Edinburgh, King’s College London and Churchill College in the University ofCambridge. All bursaries will be offered for the academic year of 2016/17, starting this autumn. The new bursaries programme is part of the Amazon in the Community programme, which aims to help young people succeed in the digital economy across the UK.

The Amazon Women in Innovation Bursary will offer funding of between £3,500 and £7,500 per year to a female student planning to attend one of the three chosen universities and taking up a degree that supports high-tech innovation, including Electronic Engineering, Robotics & Intelligent Systems, and Computer Science courses. Students from households with an annual income under £42,620 will be eligible for the bursary, and each recipient will be chosen by their own university.

As well as supporting female students’ living costs for up to four years, Amazon will also provide mentoring on business skills like CV-building and interview techniques, as well as a potential work placement at Amazon’s local Development Centres.

Amazon’s UK Development Centres support Amazon’s innovations used around the world, including:

  • The use of machine learning science in Edinburgh to power Amazon’s smart features in multiple languages like personalised recommendations.
  • The development in Cambridge of Alexa, the cloud-based voice service, and Prime Air, a future delivery system designed to deliver parcels to customers in 30 minutes or less using small unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • Supporting product development and design from London for web and mobile applications used for Amazon Video.

“We want to foster the next generation of high-tech superstars in Britain and help people from all walks of life invent for the future,” said Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon. “We hope that over time the bursary will make a big difference to many young women who one day will become future leaders in innovation.”

“Churchill College is pleased to partner with Amazon for the Women in Innovation Bursary,” said Dr. Sally Boss, Senior Tutor, Churchill College in the University of Cambridge. “We believe that this programme will help encourage young women from less advantaged backgrounds to consider studying Computer Sciences at the University, and we’re delighted to be working with Amazon to encourage applications for the course.”

“King’s is delighted to be part of the Amazon Women in Innovation Bursary,” said Professor Peter McBurney, Head of the Department for Informatics at King’s College London. “While great work in recent years has gone into widening access and opportunities for women within high-tech courses like Electronic Engineering and Computer Sciences, more is needed to bring women into technology. We believe this will both encourage more women to study within these fields and also provide a great boost to the recipient’s studies.”

“We’ve been working with the team at Amazon for two years to bring the bursary to our students, and we’re thrilled that the fund is being increased and extended beyond 2017,” said Professor Johanna Moore, Chair of Artificial Intelligence and Head of School of Informatics, Edinburgh University. “Students in the bursary have benefitted hugely, not only from Amazon’s financial support, but also from the opportunity to get experience and mentoring from professionals at the top of their game.”

Katie Worton, aged 19 from Roslin, a student who benefits from the existing bursary at Edinburgh University and is studying Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science, said:

“I’ve always dreamt of forging a career in a field that’s cutting edge and innovative and I value Amazon’s support. The bursary has given me the chance to grow thanks to real-life, hands-on experience during my placement at Amazon’s Development Centre in Edinburgh. It’s a fantastic programme, and I’d encourage any young woman who wants to explore a career in innovation to apply.”

- Ends -

For further information, please contact:
Amazon UK Press Office
T: 020 3680 0888

About Amazon
Amazon  is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

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