In a move to position the UK as a leader in artificial intelligence (AI), the UK government has developed the Manchester Prize, a new £1m fund to encourage the development of AI-based solutions to major societal challenges.
Some of the key focuses of the research funded through the scheme will include climate action and healthcare.
For the first two years, the Manchester Prize will concentrate on solutions related to energy, the environment and infrastructure.
Entrants will be encouraged to develop AI-driven approaches to issues such as electric vehicle charging methods, reducing household energy consumption through targeted interventions and automating energy-intensive processes in manufacturing to lower costs for consumers, the government added.
This forms part of broader efforts by the centra government to cut emissions by 2030 as the UK works towards achieving net zero by 2050.
Viscount Camrose, minister for AI and intellectual property, said: “Our decade-long funding commitment for the Manchester Prize will allow the UK to continue harnessing the transformative opportunities of AI for public good.”
Challenge Works will oversee the administration of the prize, marking the beginning of a ten-year commitment from the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology.
The scheme is intended to build upon the £3.5bn injection into putting the UK at the forefront of developments across science and technology superpower, which was announced in this year’s Spring Budget.
Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of the Exchequer, added: “Manchester is the birthplace of the world’s first modern computer, and has inspired countless innovations in computer science. I hope this prize will in turn inspire the next generation to tackle some of society’s biggest challenges.
“The UK is the leading European tech ecosystem ahead of Germany and France, and with initiatives like this we can cement our position as a science and technology superpower, helping grow our economy.
The open competition nature of the prize is intended to enable a diverse community of applicants to from various sectors.
The prize is named after the Manchester Baby, the world’s first computer with electronic memory.