UK launches £1.5m sustainable AI fund
The UK government has launched a new AI innovation programme which aims to support the use of artificial intelligence to reduce carbon emissions, and potentially bring down energy costs.
The new project, named ‘The AI for Decarbonisation Programme’, backed by £1.5 million in funding, is part of the government’s £1 billion ‘Net Zero Innovation Portfolio’, and comprises two separate streams.
Stream one, 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.
Stream two, worth up to £1m, will fund innovation projects which advance the development of AI technologies that support decarbonisation.
In 2023, the government plans 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 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 business and households, create high-value, skilled jobs, and kickstart millions of pounds of private investment while supporting our net zero targets.”
Ways in which AI can help sustainability include establishing baseline Scope 3 emissions for supply chains, digital twin technology and predictive maintenance.
The programme’s goal is to promote further innovation in the UK’s AI sector, whilst also achieving its net zero ambitions by encouraging collaboration with technology, energy and industrial sectors.
The programme builds on the National AI Strategy that the UK government published last year, which set out ways in which AI is able to support the UK in meeting its decarbonisation targets.
The government is encouraging projects that include uses of AI and decarbonisation, as well as AI that can be used to help the UK’s energy transition, to apply for funding through its website, which is currently open for applications until 19 January.
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