Alibaba Innovative Research

Alibaba Innovative Research (AIR) programme is a bridge that connects Alibaba Group and the researchers from world-wide top universities and research institutes. Through AIR programme, we intend to support the frontier studies in computer science and the related areas that can solve the actual problems in industry scenarios. We will provide research funding, real-life business scenarios, and other necessary supports to the successful applicants. We sincerely invite you to collaborate with Alibaba scientists and to discover, define and solve the valuable research problem in Alibaba.

Application Requirements

Applicant must be a full-time faculty member or research staff at a non-profit academic, university or research institution. We do not accept the case that a qualified researcher helps another non-eligible researcher apply.

Important Dates

  • Proposal Submission Deadline: 23:59 July 15th, 2019, GMT+8.
  • Proposal Submission Deadline: 23:59 July 31st, 2019, GMT+8. (Postpone for 2 weeks)
  • Acceptance Notification: July 31st, 2019, GMT+8.
  • Acceptance Notification: August 15th, 2019, GMT+8. (Postpone for 2 weeks)

How to Apply

  • In every June, AIR programme will publish new research topics and call for proposals from world-wide universities and non-profit academic institutions. All the submitted proposals will be reviewed by Alibaba Technical Committee, and the final accepted proposals will be funded for one-year duration.
  • Please kindly select the appropriate topics that are released in the page of "Research Areas" and submit your proposals in Chinese or English. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Please properly cite the references in your application. Plagiarism or other violation of academic integrity will not be tolerated.
  • DO NOT send any confidential or proprietary information in your proposal. Any information you send to us as part of your application will be considered non-confidential regardless of any markings or designations.
  • Applicant(s) should understand and comply with United Nation's and all countries/regions' export control applicable laws, regulations, administrative regulations, administrative orders and related requirements.

Proposal Template

Contact Us

If you have any question, suggestion about Alibaba Innovative Research (AIR) programme, please feel free to contact with us at We will reply you as soon as possible.

Research Areas


Internet of Things

  • IoT-Based User Perception and Behavior Analysis Technologies More Details >

Natural Language Processing

Human-Computer Interaction

Future Networks

  • Next Generation Data Center Networks Based on Programmable Network Devices More Details >

Storage Technology

  • Directory Tree Organization and Accessing in Large-Scale Distributed File Systems More Details >

System Software and Operation

  • Intelligent Algorithms for Programming Language Modeling and Program Analysis More Details >


  • Data Deduplication for Database Backup Service and Snapshots Based on Cloud More Details >
  • Framework and Algorithm Optimization for GPU Database System More Details >

Big Data & Data Mining

  • Biometric Identification Technolgoy at Scale More Details >
  • Model and Schedule Large Scale Fine-Grained CPU/GPU Hybrid DAG More Details >
  • Optimize Job Resource Scheduling with Data Mining/Learning Based on Historical Job Statistics Data More Details >

Chip Technology

  • Hardware Virtualization Technology Based on RISCV Architecture More Details >



Q: Can I submit the proposal in another format besides MS word?

A:Proposals are expected to be in MS Word or PDF format. Besides, we do not have the page limit. Please write either in English or Chinese.

Q: Can I apply Alibaba Innovative Research in other countries?

A: Yes, it is available in all countries/regions.

Q: I am an undergraduate/graduate student. Do I qualify to apply this plan?

A: No, undergraduate/graduate student is unqualified to submit proposals. The applicant should be a full-time faculty member or a research staff at a non-profit academic, university or research institution.

Q: I am working in a start-up company that has the cooperation with a university. Am I qualified?

A: No, you are unqualified.

Q: I am a professor. Can I submit two or more proposals to apply multiple research topics?

A: Yes. The final result will be given by Alibaba Technical committee while the selected proposals will be evaluated with consideration of innovation, feasibility potential value, etc.

Q: Can I make changes to my submitted applications?

A: Yes. You can revise your proposal till to the deadline.

Q: What is the expected funding amount for this one-year project?

A: We can support each AIR project up to $70k US dollars.

Q: Can I submit a multi-year proposal?

A: We suggest one-year collaboration. However, based on the outcomes of ongoing project, we can negotiate to establish a multi-year collaboration with our collaborated researchers.

Q: I am collaborating with a professor in a university. Can we submit a joint proposal?

A: Not suggested. The applicant should come from a university or non-profit research institute.

Q: What is the intellectual property (IP) policy in AIR project?

A: We will friendly negotiate the IP issue with our collaborator according to the IP policy of his/her affiliated university or research institute.


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