Conservation Tech Award

Accelerating Innovation and Development

The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2)’s EarthRanger program is committed to helping protected areas and conservation organizations safeguard wildlife and their habitats through the advancement of technology. 

AI2 seeks to provide two (2) grants, each in the amount of $15,000 USD, to organizations that deployed or developed technology to make a positive impact in conservation management, including but not limited to, the security of endangered animals, animal behavior research, anti-poaching enforcement, ecological management, and human-wildlife coexistence. We are specifically looking to support existing efforts that have already demonstrated a measure of success and not for proposals of intended future work:

  • Technology Adopter Grant: this grant is for an organization that adopted technology in new or novel ways for conservation management.

  • Technology Practitioner Grant: this grant is for an organization that has developed technology (e.g., software, applications, AI models/algorithms, hardware) to advance conservation management.
Conservation Technology Award Logo with Black Rhino

Both EarthRanger users and non-users are welcome to apply for either grant; there is no requirement to become an EarthRanger user to apply and no preference is given to EarthRanger users in the evaluation of applications.

Eligibility

  • Online applications must be fully completed by August 23, 2024 and include a point of contact on behalf of the organization. 
  • All applications are subject to the eligibility requirements described below and will be vetted by AI2 for compliance with applicable laws and US government guidelines for domestic and international grantmaking.

  • All applicants must follow AI2’s Business Partner Code of Conduct.
  • Nonprofit and for-profit organizations and protected areas managed in whole or in part by a nonprofit or for-profit organization are eligible to apply, subject to the eligibility requirements described below.

  • Applicants may only apply for one (1) grant by selecting either the Technology Adopter Grant or Technology Practitioner Grant in the online application form.  
  • Past applicants including grantees with new projects or initiatives eligible to apply. 
Questions? Reach out to info@earthranger.com

FAQs

What are the eligibility requirements and potential exclusions for applying to the award?

All organizations represented on the award selection committees, including AI2 and its affiliated entities, are not eligible to apply.

Individuals are not eligible to apply in a personal capacity, and may only apply on behalf of their organization or entity.

Applications from embargoed countries or organizations run by sanctioned individuals will not be considered, as determined by AI2 in its sole discretion.

All submissions will be reviewed for compliance with AI2’s legal and tax requirements. An applicant may not be eligible based on any restrictions or other requirements necessary for AI2 to comply with applicable laws, as determined by AI2 in its sole discretion.

Does my organization need to use EarthRanger to be eligible to apply?

No. We encourage both EarthRanger users and non-users to apply. 

How does my organization apply?

Select “Apply Now,” which leads to the grant application. The applications are comprised of 6 brief questions to collect basic information about your organization, 3-4 writing prompts (depending on the grant) to learn about your work in the conservation technology space, and a section to upload visual assets including images and an option to link to a video. We will only accept complete applications for consideration.   

When you say “adopted technology for conservation use in new or novel ways,” what does that mean?

The use or combinations of any technology(ies) that encompasses software, hardware, networking, AI, and/or mobile applications in ways different than perhaps its original intention. This includes using the technology(ies) in a way that improves or enhances conservation operations or the way an organization works. For example, the use of machine learning to understand wildlife behavior or a data management system that scales across an organization.

Can you give a couple of examples of success metrics that would be helpful to include in the application?

We ask for quantitative metrics to help demonstrate the impact of your organization's use or development of technology for conservation, as applicable. For example, this could be the number of animals saved and area of restored habitat, potential threats mitigated, or new data and learnings identified using technology.

Both grants are applicable to my organization’s work, can we apply to both?

No, we can only accept one application per organization. Please select just one of the grants to apply for.

What does technology developed for conservation use entail?

Any development of software, hardware, networking, AI models or algorithms, and/or mobile applications. For example, this could be the creation of a new acoustic monitoring tool or the development of an add-on or enhancement to an existing data-sharing platform that is making coordination easier.  

Who is eligible to apply?

Nonprofit and for-profit organizations and protected areas are eligible to apply, provided that their activities are primarily directed to the protection and preservation of the natural environment in the public interest.

What are the evaluation criteria for the Technology Practitioner Grant applications?

The Technology Practitioner Grant applications are assessed based on several criteria:

  • Uniqueness of Concept - How novel and innovative is the technology (e.g., software, applications, AI models/algorithms, hardware)?
  • Demonstration of innovative and successful execution of concept - How well has the technology been implemented and demonstrated?
  • Impactful Adoption - What notable impacts have resulted from the technology's adoption?
  • Scalability - Is there promise of widespread impact, from both a technical and programmatic standpoint?
  • Approachability - Can the technology be adopted for a wide range of conservation efforts from management and training to resources and financial perspectives.
What criteria are used to evaluate applications for the Technology Adopter Grant?

The Technology Adopter Grant applications are evaluated based on several key criteria:

  • Uniqueness of concept - How original or innovative is the project implemented?
  • Extent of impact - Did the effort revolutionize the way the organization operates?
  • Success of adoption - What was the outcome of the project or program?
  • Inclusiveness - Did the program support the needs of local/indigenous communities, notably women or underrepresented groups?
  • Applicability in other contexts - Can others learn from the organization’s work? Can its impact be scaled to other operations in conservation management?

How will grantees be selected?

For each grant, an applicant should present clear success metrics with their use/deployment or development of technology, as applicable. Successful applicants will clearly define and provide examples about their project or initiative, its impact, and a clear roadmap of next steps (e.g., where will the technology be used/deployed, next stages of product development, etc.).

Is the information I submit going to remain confidential?

By submitting this application, you authorize AI2 to refer to your organization’s name and use your submitted materials in any form or medium, including externally in our communications, website, and social media channels. If you have confidentiality concerns about the materials that will be submitted in the application, please email jordans@earthranger.com.   

Who is reviewing these applications?

Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee comprised of leaders and representatives from well-known conservation organizations and institutions, including the Andes Amazon Fund, Google, ConTech Africa, Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Centre for Wildlife Studies, Arribada Initiative, WildLabs, Conservation X Labs, and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

If selected as a grant recipient, when will I receive the grant funds?

AI2 will work with the selected grantees to execute grant agreements and coordinate other documentation necessary for payments through the organization’s point of contact provided in the application. 

When will grantees be announced?

The two final grantees will be officially announced in September 2024. The EarthRanger team will get in touch confidentially with applicants prior to the announcement. 

When is the application deadline?

All applications are due by August 16, 2024. 

Meet the Selection Committee

Adrian Forsyth
Andes Amazon Fund
Alasdair Davies
Arribada Initiative
Krithi Karanth
Centre For Wildlife Studies
Alina Peter Daati
ConTech Africa
Alex Dehgan
Conservation X Labs
Tammy Bean
Conserve Global
Jes Lefcourt
EarthRanger
Dan Morris
Google
Sara Beery
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Andrea Kölzsch
Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior
Stephanie O'Donnell
WildLabs
Jonathan Palmer
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

About EarthRanger

EarthRanger is a software solution that combines real-time data from ranger patrols, remote imaging and various remote sensors. The visualized data are analyzed by operational teams and scientists to identify or respond to potential wildlife threats, track and study animal movements, and understand ecological changes. Developed in partnership with conservation and technology partners, EarthRanger is part of the AI2's efforts to drive fundamental advances in science, medicine, and conservation through AI.