Microsoft is inviting UK start-ups to take part in its new AI for Environmental Sustainability Accelerator. The initiative, which has been launched in partnership with The Met Office and grant funding charity Social Tech Trust, aims to support businesses in using artificial intelligence (AI) to tackle environmental challenges.
The accelerator will help start-ups working in six areas: carbon, water, waste, ecosystems, climate equity and green skilling. Those chosen will join a four-month programme where they will receive advice from experts on AI, commercial development and social impact, as well as networking opportunities and coaching from the partners.
“The AI for Environmental Sustainability Accelerator offers support, guidance and tools at the right time for small business owners so they can grow their companies and take their solutions to the next level,” said Edith Szendrodi, head of programmes for AI for environmental sustainability at Microsoft UK. “Partnerships involving technology will play a vital role in tackling the environmental challenges facing the planet, and Microsoft has launched tools such as the Emissions Impact Dashboard and Cloud for Sustainability to help others start their sustainability journeys.
“This new accelerator will ensure we are able to share our learnings and tools directly with some of the most exciting and impactful UK start-ups operating in the sustainability sector.”
Participating start-ups will remain part of the Microsoft for Start-ups/Global Social Entrepreneurship Programme community for a further eight months to continue their development.
Participants in previous years included thermal analysis solution provider ThermaFY, recycling business Recycleye, which has raised more than $5.5 million in funding and operates across Europe, and community engagement firm Hello Lamp Post, which has since deployed its platform in cities around the world.
“During the cohort we grew from two people to 25,” said Peter Hedley, chief technology officer at Recycleye. “It helped us as founders to discuss problems, gain advice and join a growing start-up community of passionate and driven people in the sustainability space. The Microsoft team has always been there to support us.”
The programme will close applications on 13 February 2022. It will run from mid-March until June.