Western Digital has an ongoing program to sponsor research activities at institutions around the world. The research topics funded are selected from proposals generated internally at Western Digital, in which our team identifies topics that need a deeper level of investigation. The research topics are matched to a team or institution that has expertise that applies to the specific topic for investigation. A lead researcher is selected from the Western Digital team to work with the institution to develop a detailed plan and collaboratively define the work to be completed and milestones to measure progress. Multiple engineering or scientific disciplines are involved in the research programs.
The programs are structured to benefit both Western Digital and the involved institutions. Investigations into real world problems, opportunity to engage with a team from industry, and collaborative development are some of the benefits to those institutions conducting research. Some of the investigations span a multiple-year period while others have a limited scope and duration. There is an internal process within Western Digital to periodically review progress of specific programs, along with a yearly process to align the sponsored investigations with the business needs of Western Digital. Technology is advancing at an ever-increasing pace in the world of data storage and data analysis, which creates a challenge and opportunity for Western Digital to help drive the transformation of our industry and provide value to our customers.