Challenge IA-Biodiv : « Research in Artificial Intelligence in the field of Biodiversity »
To close the “AI for Humanity” day of debates held in Paris on 29 March 2018, the President of the French Republic delivered a speech on Artificial Intelligence (AI). As a continuation, a national program for AI was initiated, with a major section dedicated to research. The Villani report identifies four priority sectors posing major public-interest goals, including the environment.
France’s National Biodiversity Plan published on 4 July 2018 has the overall objective of “Reconquering biodiversity, a question of survival for our societies”. One of the plan’s actions is to develop research and knowledge about biodiversity, with goals including defining integrative indicators to quantify and map the state of biodiversity.
Knowledge about biodiversity and its evolution is both a stimulating field for applying AI research and a major scientific and societal challenge. Artificial intelligence can make significant contributions with new dedicated solutions involving complex systems that incorporate heterogeneous elements and information.
The IA-Biodiv challenge thus aims to support Artificial Intelligence research in the field of biodiversity, by mobilizing cutting-edge French research at the convergence of the French National Artificial Intelligence Research Strategy and the France’s National Biodiversity Plan. The challenge is launched by the ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche) in partenership with AFD (Agence Française de Développement), relying on a donation from Facebook AI Research, for a global effort of 4.8 million €.
The IA-Biodiv challenge is intended for scientific communities in AI and biodiversity in France and AFD's partner countries in Africa. International consortia will be financed by Expertise France (mandated by AFD) according to the participation modalities for international consortia.
The IA-Biodiv challenge will be led by an Operational Consortium, named COpé, which will ensure the organisation and the smooth running of the challenge. As a trusted third party, the COpé will ensure the scientific animation, the evaluation of AI systems and the constitution of data sets and their access via the "IA-BiodivNet" environment. The COpé is composed of the Laboratoire national de métrologie et d'essais (LNE), The French Foundation for Biodiversity Research (FRB) (FRB) and the Pôle national de données de biodiversité (PNDB).
French consortia according to the rules defined in the terms of participation for consortia applying for ANR funding. Funding of these projects will be provided by ANR. Three consortia will be funded with a maximum grant amount of €500k per project.
consortia involving at least one of the AFD’s African partner countries according to the rules defined in the document “Terms of participation for international consortia”. Funding of these projects will be provided by Expertise France on behalf of AFD. Two consortia will be funded with a maximum grant amount of €650k per project.
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