Data tackling climate change

The global climate change challenge – lead by the UN – will harness data science and big data from the private sector from multiple industries and countries, to offer researchers access to global datasets and robust tools that support their research.

Challenge enables unprecedented access to data and tools from leading companies to generate new climate solutions.

Data for Climate Action is an unprecedented open innovation challenge to harness data science and big data from the private sector to fight climate change. Data scientists, researchers, and innovators from around the world are encouraged to apply and submit their proposals at by 10 April 2017.

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“Driving effective action on climate change requires not only climate data, but also rich information about human behaviour,” said Robert Kirkpatrick, director of UN Global Pulse.

“Big data can provide dynamic feedback on how communities affect and are affected by the climate system, and enable innovation to increase sustainability and resilience. This data is primarily held by companies, like those participating in Data for Climate Action.”

With support from the Skoll Global Threats Fund, this global challenge has galvanised a diverse coalition of companies from multiple industries and countries to participate through acts of ‘data philanthropy’.

The challenge will offer researchers an opportunity to gain unprecedented access to national, regional, and global datasets—anonymised and aggregated to protect privacy—and robust tools to support their research.

Companies contributing data for the challenge include:

● BBVA Data & Analytics, a financial data analytics company.
● Crimson Hexagon, an enterprise social media analytics company.
● Earth Networks, a weather and lightning sensor network operator.
● Nielsen, a global measurement and analytics company.
● Orange, a global telecommunications provider.

● Planet, an earth-imaging satellite network operator.
● Plume Labs, an environmental data sciences company.
● Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and automation.
● Waze, a free, real-time community-based traffic and navigation app.

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In addition, researchers may apply to receive cloud-computing support from Microsoft, and visual analytics support from Tableau.

“As the world’s largest data storage company, we understand the power and promise of data, and are passionate about its use as a catalyst for change,” said Dave Tang, Senior vice president and general manager, Data Centre Systems Business Unit, Western Digital.

“We are proud to partner with the United Nations Global Pulse team to not only help build the narrative and framework for the Data for Climate Action challenge, but to amplify and drive engagement around the data for social good movement. We look forward to the insights and solutions generated from this challenge and the possibilities they represent for our future.”

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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