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Scotland's nature agency enlists AI

21/05/21

Helen Olsen Bedford Publisher

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NatureScot has chosen two companies to develop the next phase of a £1.25 million project using artificial intelligence to improve management of Scotland’s protected areas

The new online service will combine previously under-used data on planning and protected areas with a range of new technologies, including artificial intelligence and remote sensing, to provide immediate, clear information to land managers, developers and the public.

From a field of 24 that entered the GovTech Catalyst Challenge, two finalists - Informed Solutions and Astrosat/Intelligent Reality – will now develop the final product.   

“Scotland’s protected areas safeguard our most special places for nature and provide many benefits to individuals, communities and society as a whole,” said Brian Eardley, NatureScot’s Protected Areas Manager.

“It’s vital that any proposals for change on protected areas don’t compromise, and indeed preferably enhance, these sites. However one of the biggest problems land managers, developers or interested members of the public often encounter is getting hold of the relevant information they need and getting it quickly.

“This project aims to revolutionise that process with a platform that can predict potential impacts on protected areas and provide immediate tailored information and advice for any specific site.”

The project is being supported by the Scottish Government CivTech team and Scottish Enterprise. It is hoped that the final product can be adapted for wider use in Scotland, the UK and worldwide to improve access to land use information and advice.

 

Image iStock: FedevPhoto

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