Dealflow | March 13, 2024

IBM commits $45 million for AI-powered climate resilience solutions

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

Startup accelerators backing early-stage AI-driven solutions geared towards making cities safer, more resilient and sustainable aren’t new (see, “Urban-X aims to accelerate startups using AI to reengineer cities”). But few have the capabilities of tech giant IBM, which is looking to scale government and nonprofit-led projects focused on urban climate adaptation and resilience in underserved communities around the world.

More than two-thirds of the world’s population are expected to live in urban areas by 2050.

The Sustainability Accelerator will support a cohort of five projects this year, which could benefit from IBM’s AI and cloud computing technologies to tackle environmental challenges faced by vulnerable urban populations. “We look forward to working with a new cohort of partners to transform the cities we live in, and to deploy solutions that harness the potential of artificial intelligence to build a more resilient future,” said IBM’s Justina Nixon-Saintil

Global portfolio

Since IBM launched the accelerator two years ago, it has backed three cohorts of 15 global projects driving sustainable agriculture, clean energy and water management.

The latest group included the University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, which is building an application to monitor and forecast water access conditions in the parched region. IBM has also backed the Japanese city of Miyakojima’s plans to develop a microgrid, and Sustainable Energy for All’s work to model future energy needs.

Applications for the new cohort, which will receive cash and in-kind support, are being accepted through April.