Landscape view over Glasgow from the Moss Heights flats at Cardonald, ©Lorne Gill/SNH

Tackling climate crisis through AI

30 January 2020

Original source: Scottish Enterprise

Companies are benefiting from £170,000 of Scottish Government funding to use artificial intelligence (AI) to help tackle the global climate emergency.

Six applicants have been chosen to develop AI-enabled technology through the Can Do Innovation Challenge Fund, managed by Scottish Enterprise.

Projects include using AI to develop more efficient food supply chains, an AI-based thermal imaging service to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from homes and a waste and resources map to identify recycling opportunities for waste and by-products. See full details of all six successful applicants below.

Digital Economy Minister Kate Forbes said: “Scotland was one of the first countries in the world to acknowledge that we are facing a global climate emergency and we will do everything we can to make a difference.

“Our commitment to meeting ambitious emissions targets makes it vital that we develop new technologies – including harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence.

“Scotland has a proud tradition as a leader in technical innovation and is home to a huge array of companies pushing the boundaries of what is possible. I am excited to see what they produce with the support of this fund.”

Linda Hanna, MD for Scottish Economic Development at Scottish Enterprise, said: “This challenge fund calls on our most innovative companies to apply leading-edge technology in tackling one of the biggest challenges facing mankind.

“It’s inspiring to see ingenuity and passion from Scotland’s business base, alongside the talent that makes us such a highly competitive business location. We look forward to working with these companies as they examine the potential of AI to make a lasting, positive change for our environment, economy and people.”

Kate Forbes MSP on a recent visit to Space Intelligence, one of SNH’s partners on the AI project.

Kate Forbes MSP on a recent visit to Space Intelligence, one of NatureScot’s partners on the AI project.

The Can Do Innovation Fund contributes to the delivery of the Digital Strategy for Scotland and the Innovation ambitions of Scottish Government's recently-published Economic Action Plan.
©Scottish Enterprise

Background: The Can Do Innovation Fund contributes to the delivery of the Digital Strategy for Scotland and the Innovation ambitions of Scottish Government's recently-published Economic Action Plan.

Each of the successful applicants will work over a 10-week period to develop their initial concepts. Up to three applicants will progress to phase 2 and will produce minimum viable products.

One of the successful applicants is Space Intelligence. The Edinburgh-based Satellite data company will work alongside partners NatureScot and the Scottish Wildlife Trust to develop AI that can interpret satellite images and identify different land cover types such as forests, meadows and crops. This has the potential to help address the climate emergency because some types of vegetation and ways of using land store more carbon and are more beneficial to biodiversity than others, however government agencies and land managers often lack accurate, up-to-date information on what type of vegetation is growing where. Read more about the company at: https://www.space-intelligence.com.

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