Government announces $12m package to support adoption of artificial intelligence in regional Australia

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Image credit: industry.gov.au

The Australian government is investing $12 million to improve collaborations between the technology sector and regional communities in order to address difficulties that are specific to Australia.

The new Catalyzing the Artificial Intelligence Opportunity in Our Regions program will provide competitive grant funding over three rounds.  Grants ranging from $250,000 to $500,000 are available in round one, with the initiative to fund projects that demonstrate real-world artificial intelligence solutions that address regional concerns.

Science and Technology Minister Melissa Price said the program, which is part of the Government’s $124.1 million investment under the AI Action Plan, would highlight the potential for AI to strengthen regional skills, build trust in the technology, and pave the road for high-skilled jobs in regional Australia.

“This funding will showcase the ingenuity of our regional industries and communities and demonstrate the potential for artificial intelligence to solve uniquely Australian challenges,” Minister Price said.

“It will mean more innovative uses of AI, such as AI-assisted tools to increase crop yield by detecting disease and pests or predicting the spread of bushfires.

“The potential of AI is enormous and will be vital to our future. This investment will create local jobs and help ensure regional Australia is at the forefront of this rapidly evolving industry.”

According to the Government’s statement, eligible activities include:

  • Developing, implementing, and demonstrating novel or innovative AI solutions,
  • providing opportunities for regional businesses to test and experiment with AI, and
  • increasing awareness and trust in AI in regional Australia.

Applicants must submit a joint application, where at least one partner organization is located in a regional area.

Details on how to apply for round one of the program are available at: business.gov.au/aicr.

Image credit: industry.gov.au