The UK Government has launched a new programme to support the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in reducing the UK’s carbon emissions.
The programme, launched by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), forms part of the government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio which provides funding for low-carbon technologies and enable a pathway to decarbonise the country.
Titled the ‘AI for Decarbonisation Programme,’ the project will receive £1.5 million in funding and will look to stimulate further innovation in the UK’s AI sector in support of the UK’s net zero 2050 ambitions.
The grant will be split into two initial stages, or ‘streams.’ Stream 1, worth up to £500,000, will be used to fund a virtual centre of excellence on AI innovation and decarbonisation through to March 2025. Stream 2, worth up to £1 million, will be used to fund innovation projects which further the development of AI technologies used to support decarbonisation.
“The AI for Decarbonisation programme offers an exciting opportunity to leverage and develop the UK’s outstanding expertise in the field,” said George Freeman, science minister, in a Government statement. “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.”
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 netzero.
The programme builds on ideas developed in the National AI Strategy published last year, which outlined how AI can help the UK meet its decarbonisation targets.
To meet net zero goals, projects encouraged to included uses of AI could enable a faster transition to renewable energy, decarbonise industry by improving energy productivity and fuel switching, and decrease emissions in the agriculture sector.
The programme opens for applications on 22 November 2022, and closes on 19 January 2023. Applications can be made through the AI for Decarbonisation funding page.
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