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Microsoft and National Geographic Announce Earth Innovation Grant Partnership

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Microsoft has collaborated with National Geographic to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) for advancing research and exploration on key environmental challenges. To begin with, the USD 1 million AI for Earth Innovation Grant programme will back the award recipients with financial assistance, accessing Microsoft cloud and AI tools, being included in the National Geographic Explorer community. Furthermore, the AI for Earth Innovation program will grant affiliation with the National Geographic Labs to the award recipients, which is an initiative launched by National Geographic to expedite transformative change and exponential solutions to global problems by combining data, technology, and innovation.

The impressive programme will provide financial aid to between 5 and 15 novel projects harnessing AI’s power to advance conservation research for a more nature-friendly and sustainable future.

Lucas Joppa, the chief environmental scientist at Microsoft, 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.”

The grants will back open-sourced trained models and algorithms that will be made widely accessible to many environmental researchers, opening up broader avenues for greater impact.

For all those interested and working at the intersection of environmental science and computer science, they are to access www.nationalgeographic.org. The selected applications will narrow down on the core areas such as agriculture, biodiversity conservation, climate change and water as these areas demand immediate attention on the aspect of global environmental concern. The deadline for submission of all application is 8 October. Recipients will be announced in December.

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. – Jonathan Baillie, chief scientist and executive vice president, science and exploration at the National Geographic

For more details, look up the official website of Microsoft.

With this Earth Innovation and AI partnership programme, the goal of the National Geographic Society of measurable impact gets concretized which is: ‘furthering exploration and educating people around the world to inspire solutions for the greater good.’


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