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What is The New York Climate Exchange
AI Innovation Challenge?

The first ever Climate Exchange AI Innovation Challenge from The New York Climate Exchange is live!

In April 2023, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that The New York Climate Exchange team of universities, corporations, and community partners had won the competition to build a new center for climate solutions on Governors Island, a 5-minute ferry ride from the southern tip of Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn. As part of its mission, The Exchange will research and develop solutions to challenges posed by climate change that have applications in New York City and other coastal urban areas around the world. Now, through the Climate Exchange AI Innovation Challenge, we are extending the opportunity for students from Exchange partner universities to help us create the next set of solutions for stormwater management, a problem that has become a pervasive, constant threat to New York City and others around the world.

As rainstorms become more extreme and unpredictable, managing stormwater surge has become an eminent problem for large urban areas. Climate change impacts the severity and frequency of precipitation events, and cities' existing stormwater infrastructure is proving unable to handle the amount of water hitting neighborhoods. Lives and livelihoods have been significantly impacted by such events as flooding affects homes, businesses, travel, and more. Stormwater surge is only expected to continue disrupting urban life.

The Climate Exchange AI Innovation Challenge gives students an opportunity to experience and harness the power of technology- and data-driven solutions development. Through this Innovation Challenge, students will create real solutions for one of the most compelling global environmental challenges of our time. AI technologies create a unique opportunity to target the most pressing climate issues, such as stormwater management, leveraging a variety of data sources to inform innovative solutions that can help the most impacted communities respond to the challenges they face.

Students will form teams of 4-5 members and register to participate in the Challenge by April 22. Later this spring, student teams from participating universities will compete in the first round of the Challenge through case competitions hosted on their campuses (Phase 1). 5 winners will advance to the second round of the Challenge, granting them more time to develop their proposed solution for a final presentation in New York City this fall (Phase 2). Judges for the Challenge will hail from academia, business, community, and government. Winners will receive a prize.

Students—your team's solution should address the diverse challenges aligned to this theme and demonstrate how technology can help communities in need. While solution submissions do not need to include working code, they must describe the technologies required, including from IBM, and how those technologies fit into the solution.

Note: Participants will complete a generative AI lab as a prerequisite to project submission.

NYCE AI Innovation Challenge Flyer