Bezos Earth Fund launches $100M ‘grand challenge’ for AI solutions to climate change – GeekWire

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Jeff Bezos spoke in New York City on Sept. 20, 2021 to announce $1 billion in grants from the Bezos Earth Fund. (Bezos Earth Fund Photo)

The Bezos Earth Fund on Tuesday announced the creation of a $100 million grand challenge that’s seeking artificial intelligence-powered solutions for climate change and damage to the natural environment.

The $10 billion fund formed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos launched the initiative to help bring AI to bear on pressing environmental issues.

“[W]e understand that AI is expensive and constantly evolving, and many practitioners don’t have the technology expertise, infrastructure, or funding to apply AI solutions on their own,” states an information page for the challenge.

The AI for Climate and Nature Grand Challenge will roll out over three years and award grants to university researchers and innovators, non-governmental organizations, private companies, and global organizations.

The initial focus will be on three areas: sustainable proteins, biodiversity conservation, and power grid optimization. The challenge will also provide a “wild card” category for pitches that fall outside of these areas.

The initial grant winners will be announced at Climate Week in New York City in September. The fund will select up to 30 seed grantees for this first phase. Winning proposals will also be eligible for mentorship and other in-kind resources.

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