A landmark £1 million prize for pioneering AI innovations across energy, environment and infrastructure has been announced.
The Manchester Prize, launching for the first time, will focus on solutions to the challenges surrounding energy, environment and infrastructure for the first two years, running up to March 2025.
That could include using AI technology to support the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) by optimising charging methods, reduce household energy consumption by using AI to identify targeted interventions like adding insulation or help lower costs for consumers by automating energy-intensive processes in manufacturing.
The UK sees AI as a critical tool in the fight to help the nation to significantly cut emissions by 2030 whilst working towards achieving net zero by 2050.
Entries are encouraged from UK-based companies, non-profits, universities and charities, with a deadline of 1st February 2024.
Up to 10 entries will be chosen to move forward in April 2024 and each of these finalists will win a prize of £100,000 to develop their ideas into a working prototype, with one of these teams going to win the £1 million grand prize.
The finalists and ultimate winner of the grand prize will be chosen based on five judging criteria: how innovative their solution is compared to current state of the art technology, the impact of the solution, long-term viability, feasibility of delivering a working prototype and evidence of safe and ethical AI development.
Viscount Camrose, Minister for AI and Intellectual Property said: “Our decade-long funding commitment for the Manchester Prize will allow the UK to continue harnessing the transformative opportunities of AI for public good.
“AI is already helping us to slash carbon emissions, unlocking incredible advances in healthcare and even improving our productivity in the workplace.
“The focus of this prize in helping tackle some of society’s most pressing challenges serves as a real call to arms for people and organisations from all walks of life to bring forward ingenious solutions.”
The namesake of the Manchester Prize is the Manchester Baby, the world’s first computer with an electronic memory, which was built at the University of Manchester.