Call to innovators to join innovation challenge on AI for climate resilience in rural areas

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Call to innovators to join innovation challenge on AI for climate resilience in rural areas

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Rome, 5 October 2023 – Moonshots for Development (M4D), the alliance of innovation labs and venture arms of several multilateral development banks, launched the groundbreaking AI for Climate Resilience in Rural Areas Innovation Challenge, a joint effort to scout and scale AI-driven technologies that empower rural communities and help them adapt to climate change and build their resilience.

The initiative, sponsored by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in partnership with CGIAR Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP), IDB Lab, the innovation lab of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, the Technology and Innovation Lab of the World Bank Group, and the World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator is a collective effort to identify and scale AI-driven technologies to empower rural communities and help them adapt to climate change and build their resilience.

The call focuses on agriculture, natural resource management, and disaster risk reduction. It encourages a responsible and ethical use of AI and fosters collaboration among innovators, development practitioners, and rural people to nurture long-term climate resilience.

Rural communities worldwide, particularly in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, grapple with more frequent and intense extreme weather events. Changes in rainfall patterns, recurring droughts, and floods result in reduced yields, water scarcity, and the destruction of crops and infrastructure, increasingly threatening their livelihoods and lives. AI offers a promising avenue towards resilience and sustainability. AI can analyze vast datasets, detect patterns, and provide valuable insights into climate trends and fluctuating weather patterns. This allows for the development of proactive strategies to mitigate climate risks and provide accurate forecasts for extreme weather events. Furthermore, AI-driven precision agriculture helps optimize the use of resources, while climate-resilient infrastructure is designed to withstand challenging environmental conditions.

Over the duration of the programme, selected teams will be provided with a comprehensive range of seed-funding, coaching, mentoring, and access to essential networks to bring their innovation to scale. Nine (9) longlisted teams and their solutions will be featured on the website of the M4D Alliance and embark on an Onboarding training bootcamp and will benefit from a self-assessment diagnostic with IDBs fAIr LAC S3 tool. Of these nine longlisted solutions, three will receive equity-free seed funding up to US$50,000 sponsored by IFAD plus access to tailored coaching sessions and technical assistance from partnering organizations and industry experts. Teams will also benefit from pre-qualification to apply for further financing from participating Multilateral Development Banks to scale up their solutions. Other opportunities include (i) seed funding for a pilot up to US$50,000 for a solution developed by a company from an ADB member country that aligns with ADB’s AI pipeline projects; (ii) coaching and technical assistance from CGIAR experts for up to three innovations, and access to a potential equity-free grant up to US$10,000 for one innovation able to demonstrate relevance to one of the CGIAR Programme or Project; and (iii) the possibility to access the WFP Innovation Accelerator Sprint Programme for one selected solution specifically focused on SDG2: Zero Hunger.


Who is Eligible to Join the Challenge?

The “AI for Climate Resilience in Rural Areas Innovation Challenge” is open to innovators working on cutting-edge AI solutions aimed at creating a sustainable and resilient world. AI-driven companies operating at Technology Readiness Level 6 (TRL 6), at the stage of demonstrating their system or sub-system model or prototype in an operational environment, are invited to apply.

For more information on the selection criteria and the evaluation process, please visit:

Press release No.: IFAD/98/2023

Link to the picture and description.

IFAD is an international financial institution and a United Nations specialized agency. Based in Rome – the United Nations food and agriculture hub – IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided more than US$24 billion in grants and low-interest loans to fund projects in developing countries.

A wide range of photographs and broadcast-quality video content of IFAD’s work in rural communities are available for download from our Image Bank.