Microsoft has selected 10 start-up, UK-based companies to join a four-month, equity-free AI for Environmental Sustainability Accelerator programme to help them reduce carbon emissions and waste, preserve water and protect ecosystems.
The programme, which has been launched in collaboration with the Met Office and Social Tech Trust, will support the cohort to advance their own environmental solutions using artificial intelligence (AI). The companies will also receive Microsoft Azure cloud credits, advice from experts on AI, technology, help with commercial development and social impact, workshops and coaching.
The 10 companies include Quanterra Systems, Vistalworks, Yes Make, Reewild, Modulous, Materials Nexus, Scrapp, Seab Energy, CO2Analaysis and Treeconomy.
“Joining this cohort will enable us to learn from other entrepreneurs and experts at Microsoft to tackle the challenges many small businesses face,” said Rebecca Mitchell, chief executive of Quanterra Systems. “For us, this includes transitioning our operation from an academic environment to a cloud-based infrastructure that will allow us to scale our impact globally.”
Co-founder and chief operating officer at Reewild Kit Nicholl said: “We need to make strides forward to tackle the climate crisis, and feeding the world in a sustainable manner is one of the challenges of our time. We are looking to provide a solution to support that. We are looking forward to tapping into Microsoft’s expertise and ability to implement AI at scale to drive our business forward.”
Microsoft’s UK chief sustainability officer Musidora Jorgensen hosted a launch event at Microsoft UK’s headquarters in Reading on 31 March 2022, which was attended by representatives from the involved companies.
“Climate change is one of our most pressing threats and we need solutions quickly to deal with the problems we face,” said Jorgensen. “We know AI is a powerful tool we can deploy today to make progress. These 10 creative companies have been selected for their focus on significant industry challenges and our ambition is that with Microsoft’s support we can crack them.”