UK govt launches £1.5 mn AI programme for reducing carbon emissions

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Government intends to make additional funding available to support priority areas in AI innovation identified by the virtual centre of excellence as being critical for achieving net-zero…reports Asian Lite News

The government has launched a new innovation programme which will support the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions.

The AI for Decarbonisation Programme, backed by £1.5 million in funding, forms part of the government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, and comprises separate streams of grant funding to be launched in 2 initial stages.

Stream 1, worth up to £500,000, will be made available to co-fund a virtual centre of excellence on AI innovation and decarbonisation through to March 2025, while Stream 2, worth up to £1 million, will fund innovation projects which further the development of AI technologies to support decarbonisation.

Later in 2023, the government intends to make additional funding available to support priority areas in AI innovation identified by the virtual centre of excellence as being critical for achieving net-zero.

Science Minister George Freeman said, “The UK is one of the world’s most advanced AI economies, and AI technology is already having a transformative impact on our economy and society. But there is tremendous potential to do more. The AI for Decarbonisation programme offers an exciting opportunity to leverage and develop the UK’s outstanding expertise in the field. Putting this rapidly-evolving technology into action will enable us to save energy costs for businesses and households, create high-value, skilled jobs, and kickstart millions of pounds of private investment while supporting our net zero targets. The programme’s objective is to stimulate further innovation in the UK in the AI sector, to drive growth and achieve our net zero ambitions by encouraging collaboration in the field across the technology, energy and industrial sectors. The programme builds on ideas developed in the National AI Strategy  published last year which set out the ways in which AI is able to support the UK in meeting its decarbonisation targets.”

Projects specifically encouraged to bid for funding include uses of AI which could enable a faster transition to renewable energy, decarbonise industry by improving energy productivity and fuel switching, and decrease emissions in the agricultural sector.

The AI for Decarbonisation Programme is anticipated to increase market growth in the UK, reduce the cost of energy for a more competitive UK industry, leverage private investment in AI, and increase the consideration of ethics, bias and equity in AI technologies with decarbonisation applications.

The programme opens for applications on 22 November 2022, and closes on 19 January 2022. Applications can be made through the AI for Decarbonisation funding page.

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