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Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Earth Innovation Grant program launched

Microsoft and National Geographic form AI for Earth Innovation Grant partnership

Microsoft and National Geographic teamed up to bring Artificial Intelligence technology for advanced scientific exploration and research on critical environmental challenges. The partnership will create $1 million AI for Earth Grant program. The grant will help recipients with financial support, access to Microsoft cloud and AI tools and affiliation with National Geographic Labs, the announcement said.

National Geographic initiative National Geographic Labs harness technology and innovation, driving new ways of exploring and understanding the world. It helps accelerate transformative change exponential solutions to the world's biggest challenges.

The newly created $1 million Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Earth Innovation Grant program will provide award recipients with financial support, access to Microsoft cloud and AI tools, inclusion in the National Geographic Explorer community, and affiliation with National Geographic Labs, an initiative launched by National Geographic to accelerate transformative change and exponential solutions to the world's biggest challenges by harnessing data, technology and innovation.

The announcement also invited applications from Individuals and organizations working at the intersection of environmental science and computer science. It can be applied at https://www.nationalgeographic.org/grants/grant-opportunities/ai-earth-innovation/.

Microsoft logo

Chief scientist and executive vice president, science, and exploration at the National Geographic Society,  Jonathan Baillie said, "National Geographic is synonymous with science and exploration, and in Microsoft, we found a partner that is well-positioned to accelerate the pace of scientific research and new solutions to protect our natural world. With today's announcement, we will enable outstanding explorers seeking solutions for a sustainable future with the cloud and AI technologies that can quickly improve the speed, scope, and scale of their work as well as support National Geographic Labs' activities around technology and innovation for a planet in balance."

National Geographic logo

The chief environmental scientist at Microsoft, Lucas Joppa, said, "Microsoft is constantly exploring the boundaries of what technology can do, and what it can do for people and the world. We believe that humans and computers, working together through AI, can change the way that society monitors, models and manages Earth's natural systems. We believe this because we've seen it — we're constantly amazed by the advances our AI for Earth collaborators have made over the past months. Scaling this through National Geographic's global network will create a whole new generation of explorers who use AI to create a more sustainable future for the planet and everyone on it."
Earth Innovation Grant program will provide financial support to between five and 15 novel projects that use AI to advance conservation research toward a more sustainable future. Creation and deployment of open-sourced trained models and algorithms that will be made broadly available to other environmental researchers, which offers greater potential to provide exponential impact.

The announcement further noted that qualifying applications focus areas include agriculture, biodiversity conservation, climate change and water.

The last date for submitting an application is Oct. 8, 2018. Recipients will be announced in December 2018.


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Mandar is a seasoned software professional for more than a decade. He is Cloud, AI, IoT, Blockchain and Fintech enthusiast. He writes to benefit others from his experiences. His overall goal is to help people learn about the Cloud, AI, IoT, Blockchain and Fintech and the effects they will have economically and socially in the future.

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