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National Geographic: Artificial Intelligence For Earth Innovation

Deadline: October 9, 2019

To address the many pressing scientific questions and environmental challenges facing the planet, there must be an increase in global understanding of how human activity is affecting natural systems to create a community of change, driven by data and cutting-edge technology. Modern technologies, such as satellite and remote imaging, bioacoustic monitoring, and genomics, have led to massive and more complex data sets. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can capitalize on the information potential of such data, leading to faster and more meaningful insights and creating the potential for transformative solutions.

The National Geographic Society and Microsoft’s AI for Earth program are partnering to support novel projects that create and deploy AI tools to improve the way people monitor, model, and ultimately manage Earth’s natural systems for a more sustainable future.

Grants will support projects that create and deploy open source trained models and algorithms that make key analytical processes more efficient in the environmental field. As an additional opportunity, Microsoft will help the successful proposals make the completed models available for use by other environmental researchers and innovators. Proposed work should create generalizable, scalable tools that use AI for conservation in at least one of the following core areas:

Climate change: Countries and communities around the world are engaged in climate resilience, adaptation, and mitigation efforts. AI can help in areas such as:

  • Extreme weather and climate modeling
  • Sustainable land-use change
  • Ecosystem services (including carbon sequestration and afforestation/reforestation)
  • Resilience to extreme-event impacts (droughts, floods, disasters, etc.)

Agriculture: Agriculture must transition to a more sustainable model with lower environmental impact. AI can help in areas such as:

  • Land-use planning and management
  • Precision agriculture
  • Natural resource conservation
  • Sustainable supply chains
  • Climate-resilient agriculture
  • Water efficiency and management

Water: Management of the world’s freshwater supply needs to anticipate climate change impacts as well as increasing demand. AI can help in areas such as:

  • Extreme-event impacts on water supply (droughts, floods, disasters, etc.)
  • Water supply (including catchment control)
  • Water quality and sanitation

Amount: Grants range from $5,000-$100,000.

Eligibility: Individuals who are at least 18 years old. Organizations can also apply for grants, but the person within the organization who will lead the project—not the institution—should be the applicant.

Link: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/funding-opportunities/grants/what-we-fund/ai-earth-innovation/

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