UK launches £1.5m carbon-cutting AI programme

Projects sought for funding include uses of AI that could enable a faster transition to renewable energy and decarbonise industry by improving energy productivity

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The UK has launched a new £1.5 million programme to support the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in reducing the nation’s carbon emissions.

The AI for Decarbonisation programme, part of the government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, aims to stimulate further innovation in the UK in the AI sector to drive growth and help the country achieve its net zero targets.

The programme will provide funding across two stages, with Stream 1, worth up to £500,000, to made available to co-fund a virtual centre of excellence on AI innovation and decarbonisation through to March 2025 and Stream 2, worth up to £1 million, to fund innovation projects that further the development of AI technologies to support decarbonisation.

Projects sought for funding include uses of AI that 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 programme is open for applications and will close on 19th January 2022.

The government also intends to make additional funding available to support priority areas in AI innovation identified by the virtual centre of excellence as being critical to 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.”