UNU-FLORES Receives Microsoft “AI for Earth” Grant


  • 2019•05•17     Dresden

    The UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES) has been awarded an AI for Earth grant from Microsoft to help further its efforts in advancing the development of information tools that promote joint action for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    This new grant will provide UNU-FLORES with advanced Microsoft Azure cloud computing resources worth up to USD 10,000 to accelerate its work on the Constructed Wetlands Knowledge Platform (CWetlands) — a project focused on using open source text-mining tools to automatically extract relevant information from peer-reviewed journal articles. The attribute values can then be stored in a database and linked to a web-based Global Information System platform to visualise the relationships between design, performance, and other attribute values.

    The grant will enable UNU-FLORES to create a basis for determining benchmarks for new constructed wetlands; a crucial stepping stone for the reduction of untreated wastewater.

    “To date there is no comprehensive database that allows benchmarking design attributes with respect to geographic, operational, or legal constraints”, said Dr Tamara Avellán, who heads the UNU-FLORES Water Resources Management unit. “Through the AI for Earth grants programme, we hope to come closer to providing the scientific baseline characteristics of constructed wetland design and performance globally.”

    AI for Earth is a $50 million, 5-year programme that brings Microsoft technology to those working to solve global environmental challenges in the key focus areas of climate, agriculture, water, and biodiversity. UNU-FLORES is one of the newest organisations to be recognised by Microsoft for its impact and potential.

    For more, see the news story on the UNU-FLORES website.