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SBU Students Called to Compete in New York Climate Exchange AI Innovation Challenge

New york climate exchange rendering
New york climate exchange rendering
A rendering of The New York Climate Exchange on Governors Island in New York City.

Competitors will develop solutions to stormwater management challenges in NYC

Stony Brook University students are invited to compete in the first-ever Climate Exchange AI Innovation Challenge, where teams from eight universities will present cutting-edge solutions to stormwater management challenges faced by New York City.

The Challenge is presented by The New York Climate Exchange along with its partners: Stony Brook University, City University of New York, Duke University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), IBM, Moody’s, New York University, Pace University, Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Washington.

Students will develop stormwater management solutions using IBM’s watsonx.ai technology and the Call for Code platform, Moody’s insights and datasets, and GOLES’s community touchpoints. Stormwater management is critical in enabling coastal resiliency efforts and an important component of New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ recently announced Green Economy Action Plan.

To participate in the Innovation Challenge, students will form teams of four to five members, register to participate by April 22, and submit their ideas by April 30. Five teams will advance to the second round of the Challenge, granting them more time to develop their proposed solution for a final presentation in New York City this fall. Judges for both rounds of the Challenge will hail from academia, business, community and government.

Register by April 22 at the Innovation Challenge website.

A “kickoff” meeting hosted by the Office of the Provost and the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT) will be held Wednesday, April 17, at 1 pm in Room 204 of the Alan deVries Center. Students can learn about the event, what the challenge is, ask questions and, more importantly, have an opportunity to network with other students interested in participating, affording them an opportunity to form project teams and get ideas.

In an effort to support and encourage as many projects as possible, CEWIT will make available Room 152 at its Research and Development Park location at 1500 Stony Brook Road on Friday, April 19, and Friday, April 26, from 10 am to 4 pm. Students can get assistance and suggestions, and have a place to work with their team with CEWIT staff available. Refreshments will be provided.

Room 152 will also be available on Tuesday, April 30, from 10 am to 5 pm for last-minute assistance and trouble-shooting.

The Challenge blends business and policy acumen with computing and technical skills, requiring critical thinking, teamwork, and creativity to give students insight into the holistic perspective they will need to develop solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. The Exchange encourages students to form interdisciplinary teams to draw on the wide-ranging expertise of their peers and universities. This model reflects The Exchange’s unique approach to climate solutions development, connecting academia, business, community, and government across disciplines to accelerate action at the local and global levels.

Kevin reed nyce town hall
Kevin Reed at the Town Hall celebrating Stony Brook being named the anchor institution of The New York Climate Exchange in April 2023.

“The unique model of the Innovation Challenge demonstrates the power of The Exchange,” said The New York Climate Exchange CEO Stephen Hammer. “It draws on academia, business, community, and government to think creatively about a critical issue whose local solutions can have global applications. I’m grateful to our participating partners for making the Challenge possible and cannot wait to see the ideas that emerge.”

“Our students are passionate about identifying and developing innovative approaches that help mitigate the impacts of climate change in our region,” said Associate Provost for Climate and Sustainability Programming and Professor Kevin Reed. “Recent flooding events, caused by intense rainfall and storm surge, have stressed our stormwater management infrastructure in New York and exemplify the urgent impacts of climate change. Through the ingenuity of our students and new technology, Stony Brook University is excited to collaborate with the New York Climate Exchange and its partners to tackle this climate change threat as part of the Climate Exchange AI Innovation Challenge.” Reed also serves as the interim director of academic, research, and commercialization programs for The Exchange.

Heavy rainfall events are becoming more extreme and unpredictable with climate change; stormwater surge causes more frequent flooding of streets, transit systems, and homes, and legacy urban infrastructure is unable to keep up. As a result, communities, and vulnerable populations especially, need to respond with new and innovative resiliency solutions.

The Climate Exchange AI Innovation Challenge gives students access to AI technology to understand and practice data-driven solutions development, preparing them to be the changemakers of the future. Solutions developed through the Innovation Challenge can shape New York City’s response to stormwater management issues and have global applications for other cities facing similar issues.

The New York Climate Exchange is a first-of-its-kind global hub advancing climate action at the local, national and global level. Powered by its strong partnerships and future home on Governors Island, The Exchange leverages the collective power of education, research, workforce development, policy development, and public programming to prepare communities locally and abroad to respond to climate challenges. Almost one year ago, Stony Brook University was selected as the anchor institution for The Exchange.

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