Climate Change AI opens second round of grants for research on AI and climate change

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The 2023 Climate Change AI Innovation Grants program will award up to $150K apiece to research projects that use AI to help mitigate, adapt to, or study climate change.

AI and machine learning hold great promise for addressing climate change. Yet the pipeline taking solutions from research to deployment has often been held back by insufficient data, infrastructure, and knowledge-sharing.

Climate Change AI (CCAI), with the support of DeepMind and the Quadrature Climate Foundation and fiscal sponsorship from Future Earth International, has opened applications for its 2023 Innovation Grants program. In this cycle, the program will award a total of $1.2M (USD) in research grants, with up to $150K allocated per proposal. Funded projects will leverage AI or machine learning to address problems in climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, or climate science. Applications are due by March 1, 2023.

As detailed in CCAI’s foundational paper and on the organization’s website, AI and machine learning hold great promise for addressing climate change. Potential applications span energy, transportation, buildings, agriculture, land use, climate modeling, and disaster response. Yet the pipeline taking solutions from research to deployment has often been held back by insufficient data, infrastructure, and knowledge-sharing.

The CCAI Innovation Grants aim to spur research that addresses these challenges. Now in its second cycle, the program will allocate grants to year-long research projects that apply AI to help study, mitigate, or adapt to climate change. For example, successful proposals might use machine learning to:

  • Mitigate emissions in agriculture, buildings, manufacturing, power and energy systems, transportation, forestry, or other sectors.
  • Help society adapt to climate change by better predicting, managing, and providing relief for disasters.
  • Advance the study of climate, ecosystems, or other relevant natural systems.
  • Accelerate development of low-carbon technologies such as electrofuels and carbon capture and sequestration.
  • Facilitate approaches in the behavioral and social sciences, climate finance and economics, climate justice, and climate policy that aim to support the climate transition more broadly.

Projects that address AI governance in the context of climate change or that assess the climate impacts of AI and its applications are also eligible for funding.

This year’s program will feature a special track on machine learning in the electric power sector. Applications in this track may optionally request support from a DeepMind Engineer, in addition to the financial award.

Each grantee must publish a documented dataset or simulator aimed at spurring further research. If applicable, they must also publish trained models and/or detailed descriptions of model implementations. Projects are expected to result in scientific publications or other public dissemination, and should either yield deployed systems or include well-considered pathways to deployment.

Lead applicants can be based at accredited universities in any OECD member country. Applicants are additionally encouraged to build teams spanning multiple sectors, disciplines, and geographic regions (including, e.g., non-OECD countries and non-research institutions).

For further details on grant eligibility and how to apply, see https://climatechange.ai/calls/innovation_grants.

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Jesse Dunietz