Cloud computing grants will accelerate the impact of organizations solving global environmental challenges
New York, NY | April 22, 2021 — data.org is pleased to announce the award of $100,000 in cloud computing resources to social impact organizations tackling global environmental challenges. These grants were made possible by Microsoft AI for Earth, an initiative that supports organizations applying AI to environmental challenges by helping them harness the full power of cloud computing.
Recipients for these grants were chosen from the more than 1,200 applicants to the data.org Inclusive Growth and Recovery Challenge, which launched in 2020 with support from the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and The Rockefeller Foundation. AI for Earth and data.org selected awardees based on their demonstrated commitment to using data science to solve environmental problems, and their need for and prioritization of cloud computing as a critical ingredient for achieving measurable impact.
Through the AI for Earth grants program, organizations are able to accelerate their results with access to Microsoft Azure tools and cloud computing credits, and to benefit from additional technical support and training materials. Awardees will also have opportunities to connect with and learn alongside other organizations using technology to solve challenges related to climate change, sustainable agriculture, biodiversity, and water.
“We know that inclusive growth and economic recovery is closely tied to the health of the environment – the sustainability of our cities, our methods of food production, our access to clean water,” said Ginger Zielinskie, Chief Strategy Officer at data.org. “These organizations are solving problems that exemplify that interconnection and demonstrate the potential of data and technology, like Microsoft Azure, to build a better future.”
“AI for Earth grants provide access to Microsoft resources to support projects that change the way people and organizations monitor, model, and manage Earth’s natural systems,” said Bonnie Lei, Head of Global Strategic Partnerships at AI for Earth, Microsoft. “We are pleased to offer these resources to the data.org Inclusive Growth and Recovery Challenge teams to support their unique environmental work, and to signal the clear alignment of economic health and the health of our planet.”
AI for Earth will be issuing grants to the following social impact organizations:
The Aquaya Institute
The Aquaya Institute is a non-profit research and consulting organization dedicated to advancing global health through universal access to safe water and sanitation. They use data to enable better policy, program, and financing decisions, are working to close water and sanitation data gaps in order to identify and act on investment opportunities that would expand access to safe and affordable water and sanitation.
Community Lattice advances community development by equipping people with the resources they need to create economically sustainable, socially equitable, and resilient places. Through this project, they will enable access to critical brownfields cleanup data, economic data, and environmental data via a publicly available tool that communities can use to transform revitalization efforts, address potential sources of health issues, and ensure the inclusion of the underserved in recovery.
Opportunity International’s Agricultural Finance initiative helps rural families transform their small farms into more productive, lucrative, and effective enterprises. Through AI that uses remote sensing and farmer support agent data, they are working to equip subsistence farmers with access to capital so that they can benefit from transformative technologies and efficiencies that can break cycles of poverty.
Rare’s Lands for Life program leverages technology to empower farmers to farm and steward the land more sustainably and reach more farmers cost-effectively. They partner with agricultural extension agents to apply this tech-augmented behavioral approach to make sustainable farming the new norm.
data.org is a platform for partnerships to build the field of data science for social impact. data.org works with organizations from all over the world to increase the use of data science to improve the lives of millions of people, and to tackle society’s most significant challenges. For more information, follow data.org on Twitter @DataDotOrg or visit data.org.
About AI for Earth:
AI for Earth is an initiative of Microsoft that supports organizations that are applying AI to environmental challenges, by helping them harness the full power of cloud computing. For more information visit microsoft.com/en-us/ai/ai-for-earth