Lacuna Fund supports dataset creation, aggregation, and maintenance for the training and evaluation of machine learning models by and for local communities most affected by climate change.

From understanding impacts of climate change on health outcomes, to strengthening electrification planning, filling data gaps in the climate domain allows communities around the world to better mitigate and adapt to climate change. The current call welcomes proposals relating to 'Climate & Health' and 'Climate & Energy.'

Deadline for proposals is 17 July 2022.

Lacuna Fund and Climate Change

Climate change disproportionately affects people in low-and middle-income contexts who have done the least to contribute to it. Yet often these communities do not have the information they need to make informed decisions about how to mitigate or prepare for climate change. Machine learning holds great promise to advance efforts across a variety of sectors to understand, mitigate, and adapt to climate change.

However, particularly in low- and middle-income contexts globally, the effective use of machine learning is hampered by a lack of ground truth data accessible to all. For example, global models of the impact of rising precipitation on malaria incidence are blatantly incorrect in some parts of the world because they are missing local data. A lack of data about how extreme heat events are affecting human health is preventing policymakers from preparing their communities to respond to these events. AI and remote sensing could help map energy infrastructure needs and enable us to effectively deploy renewable energy globally, but many parts of the world that would benefit the most from such technologies do not currently have the data to power them.

Lacuna Funding

Lacuna Fund supports dataset creation, aggregation, and maintenance for the training and evaluation of machine learning models by and for local communities most affected by climate change in two tracks:

  1. Understanding climate harms to health and livelihoods
  2. Improving energy systems and infrastructure for climate change mitigation and adaptation

With a geographic focus on low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the call will put resources directly into the hands of actors in affected areas and ensure solutions are developed locally and centered on community needs and priorities. Both the Climate & Health and Climate & Energy tracks will open calls for proposal processes in April of 2022.

See information on how to apply as well as open and past RFPs here.

Eligibility

Lacuna Fund aims to make its funding accessible to as many organizations as possible in the AI for social good space and cultivate capacity and emerging organizations in the field.

To be eligible for funding, organizations must:

  • Be either a non-profit entity, research institution, for-profit social enterprise, or a team of such organizations. Individuals must apply through an institutional sponsor. Partnerships are welcome but only the lead applicant will receive funds.
  • Have a mission supporting societal good, broadly defined. 
  • Have all necessary national or other approvals to conduct proposed research. The approval process may be conducted in parallel with grant application, if necessary. Approval costs, if any, are the responsibility of the applicant.
  • Have the technical capacity to conduct dataset labeling, creation, expansion, and/or maintenance.
  • Be sufficiently stable to ensure the sustainability of the dataset or have arrangements with an organization of sufficient stability.


Datasets for Climate Applications

Lacuna Fund seeks proposals from organizations interested in developing datasets for equitable climate outcomes in climate & energy and climate & health.

Read a full copy of the RFP’s for more details on potential areas of funding, eligibility, and selection criteria: 

  • Climate & Health HERE
  • Climate and Energy HERE

Applications are accepted through the application portals here:

  • Climate & Health HERE
  • Climate and Energy HERE

Partnership and Mentorship Programs

Lacuna Fund is partnering with Climate Change AI (CCAI) to provide a digital partnership platform where teams or individuals seeking to collaborate can connect and find potential partners. CCAI will also facilitate a mentorship program to connect potential applicants with experts working in relevant topic areas.

Register for the partnership and mentorship platform! 

Timeline:

  • RFPs Posted Publicly on Lacuna Fund Website: 28 April 2022
  • Applicant Webinar: 17 May 2022, Register HERE
  • Question and Answer Deadline: 20 May 2022
  • Answers Posted: 3 June 2022
  • Proposals Due: 17 July 2022

Question and Answer Period: All questions related to the RFP should be submitted to secretariat@lacunafund.org with “Climate & Energy RFP 2022 Question” or “Climate & Health RFP 2022 Question” in the subject line. Questions submitted by 20 May will be de-identified and answered publicly by 3 June on the Lacuna Fund website.

Please note that for this RFP, lead applicants must be headquartered in or have a substantial partnership in Africa, Latin America, or South or Southeast Asia.  

Anyone interested in developing a proposal with GEO Mountains is invited to get in touch with Dr. James Thornton: james.thornton@unibe.ch


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