ICRISAT awarded Microsoft’s AI for Earth grant to promote environmental sustainability

As part of its worldwide AI for Earth program, Microsoft has recently announced grants to provide artificial intelligence (AI) technology to organizations engaged in solving environmental challenges. ICRISAT is one of the grantees and will now be able to use Microsoft Azure resources for weather predictions and pest migration information.

Earlier, ICRISAT has collaborated with Microsoft in developing the Sowing App, which led to significant increases in farmers’ yields in Andhra Pradesh, India.

Microsoft released the following message:

Microsoft announces AI for Earth grant recipients from India and deepens commitment to sustainability in the country

Seven organizations to receive access to AI tools to address pressing environmental issues

New Delhi, Sep 04, 2018:  Microsoft today announced grants to seven recipients from India under AI for Earth, its worldwide program aimed at empowering people and organizations to solve global environmental challenges through the power of AI. These grantees will receive access to Microsoft Azure and AI computing resources; in-depth education and technology trainings on these tools and additional support as the projects grow and mature. India now has the third largest concentration of AI for Earth grantees, following the United States and Canada.

Commenting on the program, Lucas Joppa, Chief Environmental Officer, Microsoft Corporation and Lead for Microsoft AI for Earth, said, “In every country around the world, we are facing unprecedented environmental challenges, impacting the ability to access water, grow healthy crops and protect biodiversity. At Microsoft, we’ve found that one thing was accelerating as quickly as the degradation of our planet’s natural resources, and that is technology. Through AI for Earth, we’re making sure that innovative environmental researchers, like the seven here in India, are empowered with Microsoft’s AI in the pursuit of creating a more sustainable future for us all.”

The grantees from India, chosen based on their efforts to conserve, protect and rebuild the environment with AI, are:


India Institute of Technology – ­ together with the Technical University of Munich, the India Institute of Technology is designing a low-cost tool for monitoring plant health in resource-limited regions. Used directly in the field by farmers, the device will automate the process of disease diagnosis through image analysis on the Azure platform.

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad – ICRISAT is using AI, cognitive services, and cloud computing to enhance pest forecasting and prediction models and farm advisory services to enable sustainable agriculture production in developing parts of the world. Read more…

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