Press release

1 Mar 2022 London, GB

EY launches 2022 Better Working World Data Challenge to help tackle biodiversity loss

LONDON, 1 March 2022. EY today announces the launch of the 2022 Better Working World Data Challenge.

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Konstantinos Makrygiannis

EY Global Consulting and Strategy and Transactions Media Relations and Social Media Associate Director

Media relations and social media professional. Can talk about planes, traveling and politics for hours on end. Aspiring jockey.

  • Challenge calls on university students and early career data scientists to help find solutions to world’s most pressing challenges
  • This year focuses on ways artificial intelligence and data can help locate and protect biodiversity 
  • Winning models to be made available free of charge for non-commercial purposes

LONDON, 1 March 2022. EY today announces the launch of the 2022 Better Working World Data Challenge. Now in its third year, 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 and the winning models will be made available free of charge for non-commercial purposes.

Steve Varley, EY Global Vice Chair – Sustainability, says:

“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. 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.”

Beatriz Sanz Saiz, EY Global Consulting Data and Analytics Leader, says:

“Loss of biodiversity is not only an environmental issue, but an economic, security, social and moral issue as well. 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.


Notes to editors

About EY

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About the Better Working World Data Challenge

The Better Working World Data Challenge is one of the ways the EY organization lives its purpose of building a better working world. Through the annual challenges, the EY organization is introducing thousands of students to the possibilities of how they can help build a better working world – now, next and beyond. University students and early career data scientists from anywhere in the world can participate by visiting here.