How can artificial intelligence be used to speed up the development of a circular economy and reduce the impacts of climate change?

Challenge proposed by

Challenge award: $10,000
+ accompaniment from Hydro-Québec experts

Challenge award: $10,000
+ accompaniment from Hydro-Québec experts


This challenge is tied to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals:

Collision Challenge
Challenge proposed by an industry leader organization that wants to encourage BETA teams to solve a real and pressing issue in the industry. The partner undertakes to follow the winning team of the Challenge for a period of 5 months after the end of the Coopérathon.


This challenge is tied to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals:

Collision Challenge
Challenge proposed by an industry leader organization that wants to encourage BETA teams to solve a real and pressing issue in the industry. The partner undertakes to follow the winning team of the Challenge for a period of 5 months after the end of the Coopérathon.

Background

Global warming is the greatest challenge facing humanity today. The 2015 Paris Agreement identified the need to work together with various public and private sector actors to find a solution. In early August of this year, the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) urged public policymakers to take immediate action to limit the consequences of climate change.

Microsoft is aware of this challenge and is unveiling a series of measures to become a carbon negative company by 2030 and to cut its historic emissions by 2050. However, its strategy extends beyond just eliminating its own carbon emissions. The company has set up a series of incentives to encourage other stakeholders to meet global environmental challenges using technology and artificial intelligence.

A PwC study commissioned by Microsoft estimates that using AI for environmental applications could add up to US$5.2 billion to the global economy in 2030, up 4.4% from the status quo. At the same time, applying AI tools could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 4% by 2030. In parallel, AI could create 38.2 million net new jobs in the global economy, offering higher skilled occupations as part of this transition.

Challenge as part of the Cooperathon 2021

Microsoft, firmly believes that technology has a positive impact on society, is looking for ideas and solutions to take advantage of artificial intelligence to improve climate projections and waste reuse. Entrepreneurs and other participants in the competition must target their solution or service towards:

  • Developing and using global climate data and projections to reduce the potential impacts of climate change, such as abrupt weather changes, floods, fires and agricultural losses, on various industries
  • Optimizing logistics and supply chains, monitoring and traceability in order to reduce the carbon impact of producing and consuming resources and products and maximize zero-waste operations
  • Leveraging data and AI to accelerate the development and adoption of circular economy best practices to reduce resource use and facilitate reuse and recycling of raw materials, electronic waste, packaging, etc.

Additional opportunity for challenge prize:

The Microsoft Global Social Entrepreneurship Program supports eligible social impact startups with technology connections and expertise. Program offer includes: Up to $120,000 in Azure credits, subscription for Visual Studio, Office 365, Dynamics and GitHub Enterprise, enterprise grade Azure support and access to engineers, community building/exchange and go to-market support.

Microsoft Azure and AI training
Participants in this challenge are required to use Microsoft’s Azure and AI platform to build their technical solution to qualify for any of the prizes.

* The winner will be admitted into Microsoft Startup for Social Entrepreneurs program upon their eligibility confirmation by Microsoft Corporation Microsoft Global Entrepreneurship Program is available to organizations only. Individual participants in the Cooperathon would not be eligible for application. Cooperathon finalists are not required to participate in Microsoft Global Social Entrepreneurship Program to maintain eligibility to be named a winner of the Cooperathon.

Course on AI with Microsoft

The Cooperathon’s Microsoft AI course will guide you in furthering your basic knowledge of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and related Microsoft Azure services. The course will help you develop an awareness of common AI and ML scenarios and an ability to identify the Azure services that can address them, which will be useful in developing your response to the challenge.

You will have the opportunity to gain practical experience with certain services through the interactive exercises available on Microsoft Learn (https://azure.com/learn).

Participant profile

This course is intended for all Cooperathon participants who are interested in discovering the solutions that can be achieved through AI. You don’t need to be proficient in using Microsoft Azure, but a level of familiarity with cloud technologies is preferable. The course includes practical activities that involve working with data and code execution, so basic knowledge of common programming principles would be useful.

Data, articles & information

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We connect passion and talent, communities and academics. Together we develop a socially responsible future.

“Cooperathon” is a Trademark of the Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec.

Cooperathon @ FacebookCooperathon @ InstagramCooperathon @ TwitterCooperathon @ YouTubeCooperathon @ Linkedin