CALL FOR INNOVATION RESEARCH GRANTS ON RESPONSIBLE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE FOR CLIMATE ACTION


Call for Innovation Research Proposals

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM; www.ruforum.org), on behalf of the Research and Innovation Network for Responsible Artificial Intelligence for Climate Action in Africa [RESEN-RAICAIA],in partnership with West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL; www.wascal.org) and AKADEMIYA2063 (https://akademiya2063.org/ ), invites applications for innovation research proposals from eligible researchers universities and academic research institutions in Africa.

The general objective of the Network is to advance climate action in Africa through the responsible development and deployment of artificial intelligence innovations. Specifically, the Hub aims to; i) deepen understanding of how to develop and scale responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovations for climate action in sub-Saharan Africa; ii) build the capacity of eight (8) groups of African innovators and researchers to develop, deploy and scale responsible AI applications in climate action; and iii) facilitate the contribution of African research to international AI policy and practice conversations.

The Call for Proposals is aimed at competitively identifying eight (8) innovation research projects in Responsible AI for Climate Action in Africa.

Funding for this Call for Proposals comes from the Artificial Intelligence for Development-Africa (AI4D) programme, a joint initiative funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). The call was developed in collaboration with Climate Change AI “https://www.climatechange.ai

Background

Climate variability and change remains one of the most significant challenges for Africa in the 21st century. It threatens to undo the development gains made over the last two decades and could potentially reduce the region’s capacity to attain the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Action is required to bolster the region’s capacity to respond and urgently address the debilitating effects climate variability and change has on agricultural production, water resources, energy as well as the propagation of conflicts in the region. Deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in other regions of the world especially in the global north has proven critical because of its ability to increase adaptation and mitigation capacity and improve the precision of evidence-based decision making. This climate change AI network seeks to advance climate action in Africa through the responsible development and deployment of artificial intelligence innovations with respect to: (i) development and scaling of responsible AI innovations for climate action in SSA, (ii) building capacity of African innovators and researchers, and (iii) increasing the contribution of African research to international AI policy and practice. Through this network, Africa’s climate change research and innovations will be enhanced and application strengthened at various levels including the community. Women and youth that represent Africa’s greatest capital today and the future will be at the forefront of science innovations and solutions development as well as innovations deployment at various scales required in the region. 

This Call seeks to competitively select innovation research proposals that deploy responsible AI for climate action with demonstrated relevance/links to national processes and livelihoods of vulnerable communities.

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