UK Space Agency puts £500k into using AI to gain climate insights

Government agency dedicates package of funding to ten individual projects using satellites, Earth observation and data analytics intended to help support green financing initiatives and enable businesses to embrace sustainability

Ten new UK Space Agency projects will receive £530,000 in funding to support the use of artificial intelligence technology to deliver climate-related services to businesses.

The agency said the services will provide information about environmental risks and how to mitigate them, as well as identifying green financing opportunities that could support sustainable business growth.  The projects will use AI in concert with Earth observation tools, satellite tracking and data on population demographics.

The agency said the projects will begin development in September are intended to produce the most up-to-date view of environmental contexts with available Earth observation data, including methane and nitrous oxide emissions, watercourse resilience, biodiversity changes and the infrastructure of decarbonising technologies.

Each project will receive £55,000. The funding is the second tranche of investment by the UK Space Agency into climate services development.

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George Freeman MP, minister of state in the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, said: “The great challenges of our time need bold solutions and from tackling water pollution to carbon emissions and biodiversity threats, the unique perspective that space provides can play a major role in securing the health of our planet and people. By backing UK innovators to make the most of modern technology including satellite data, AI, and Earth observation, we are also supporting businesses up and down our country to grow our economy while driving forward our ambition to make the UK a major player in space.”

Dr Paul Bate, UK Space Agency chief executive, added: “The UK has a long history of expertise and innovation in Earth observation, developing satellites to collect increasingly detailed data and using that information to build services that help protect our planet. This targeted funding for early-stage innovations is all about supporting fresh ideas and accelerating the rollout of powerful new tools that have the potential to bring benefits to a wide range of users both within and beyond the space sector.”

This article originally appeared on PublicTechnology sister publication Holyrood

Sandhya Menon

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