EY Launches Better Working World Data Challenge, Tackling Biodiversity Loss

Originally published ey.com. EY is a Hall of Fame company.


EY announced the launch of the 2022 Better Working World Data Challenge. The global competition, aimed at university students and early career data scientists, is part of the EY organization’s commitment to innovate and use technology to address some of the world’s biggest environmental and climate change problems.

Following a record year in 2021 that saw more than 8,700 registrations from more than 115 countries and two winning models aimed at helping firefighting authorities map and predict the path of bushfires, this year’s competition will focus on ways artificial intelligence (AI) enabled methods can help locate and protect biodiversity.

Globally, biodiversity loss will threaten the ability to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including poverty alleviation and food, water and energy security. As a result, there is an urgent need to prioritize the geographical areas and species that most need help.

Participants in the 2022 Better Working World Data Challenge will use field data, satellite imagery and complementary geospatial data gathered from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and other resources to develop algorithms that will reduce the cost and time required to locate biodiversity, while also improving accuracy. Microsoft will provide all participants access to datasets from its planetary computer, learning courses to help them prepare for the Data Challenge and for students, access to Microsoft Azure credits via Azure for Students.

The winners, selected by a panel of judges from EY, NASA, Microsoft and members of the scientific community, will receive cash prizes. The winning models will be made available free of charge for non-commercial purposes.

“To achieve the 2030 goal of reversing deforestation that more than 100 leaders set at COP26 last year, we need to act now and act together,” says Steve Varley, EY’s Global Vice Chair of Sustainability. “EY is using its convening power to bring together an ecosystem of collaborators to harness data and technology to protect and create value from sustainability for all. Identifying where life flourishes in order to protect it is critical to achieving this, and it is an honor to support these efforts through this year’s Data Challenge.”

“Loss of biodiversity is not only an environmental issue, but an economic, security, social and moral issue as well,” says Beatriz Sanz Saiz, EY’s Global Consulting Data and Analytics Leader. “I can’t wait to see the innovative ideas that participants will propose this year that can have a lasting impact on this global issue. Working together with NASA, Microsoft and others, I am very excited to see how these solutions can be implemented and how they can help build a better working world.”

Registration is open and the winners will be announced in July 2022.