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Unicef Innovation Fund launches call for data science, AI solutions

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UNICEF through its Innovation Fund, yesterday opened application to make up to $90 000  in zero-equity investments in data science, machine learning and AI solutions that have the potential to benefit humanity.

Tech startups with AI or data solutions stand to benefit from between $50 000 and $90 000 equity-free early-stage seed investments. In its call for applications, Unicef said it is looking for startups that can apply data science in new innovative, scalable and globally applicable ways.

 Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for selection, applicants must be resident in one of Unicef’s programme countries. In addition, startups must already have a functional, open source prototype — or one they are willing to make open source. The organisation also encouraged women-led companies to apply.

The call for applications is aimed at companies that can, among other applications, do the following:

  • Apply deep learning to analyse satellite imagery and automatically map infrastructure such as schools, health centers, roads or cell towers.
  • Use digital footprints from sources like social media or mobility patterns to understand public spaces.
  • Explore machine learning or AI techniques to help better understand the physical world and its rapidly changing environments.
  • Use natural language processing or similar techniques to analyse large amounts of text.
  • Use machine learning and AI to understand content structures and knowledge as well as learning relationships.
  • Explore machine learning or AI techniques to help better understand the digital world and its rapidly dynamics as well as changing trends.
  • Use machine learning or AI to understand the relationships between different variables that impact development indicators.
  • Apply optimisation techniques to improve service delivery, resource allocation or content delivery.
  • Use predictive analysis to understand changes in the world such as job market trends or the supply and demand of skills.
  • Gather and combine existing data from different sources.
  • Generate new data through field data collection, crowdsourcing or social network platforms.
  • Use novel approaches to generate, as well as to validate large amounts of training data.

Are you eligible and interested in applying for this call? Learn more about Unicef’s Innovation Fund eligibility criteria and find out more about the application process here.  Applications close 28 February.

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