Atos IT Challenge 2021 - Decarbonization

We have just launched this year’s Atos IT Challenge, our worldwide competition for computer science and technical engineering students. We are seeking digital solutions that will support decarbonization initiatives and help companies and society as a whole to tackle climate change.

The challenge

The Paris Agreement sets out a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. In order to achieve this it is necessary to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases, particularly Carbon Dioxide. This is especially true in the area of energy production and usage; by increasing the share of low-carbon energy sources, especially renewables, with a corresponding reduction in the use of fossil fuels.

How can digital solutions help address these ambitious but critical goals?

We are asking students to develop a functioning application, mobile app, service or simulation to support industry, commerce or individuals in the drive for decarbonization. We are looking for interesting applications that could have immediate and impactful real-world applicability.

Areas of decarbonization

There are many areas to explore when considering how digital solutions can support decarbonization initiatives.

  • In power generation and demand how can we support a shift to nuclear, hydro, biofuels, geothermal, solar, wind and tidal forms of generation?
  • In the area of power use and efficiency perhaps local power generation, distribution, storage and community schemes can be investigated?
  • In the production of steel and cement, which produces large emissions, are there ways that digital solutions can reduce or optimize the use of these materials?
  • In agriculture and farming the use of inorganic fertilizers releases methane into the atmosphere. Additionally, livestock farming (particularly cattle) produces large volumes of methane. Can we reduce these emissions, or use digital technologies to make better use of waste methane?
  • How can digital technology help to prevent the destruction of rainforests, or aid in the recovery of deforested areas?
  • In transport how can digital technology support a shift from fossil fuels to electricity or hydrogen, maximise the use of public transport, car sharing and rental schemes? Can this be extended to shipping or air travel?
  • Can digital solutions aid the distribution and delivery networks supporting increased online product and grocery shopping, especially now that we’re living in a world so impacted by coronavirus?

Good luck!

Given the vast range of topics, I imagine there could be applications to analyse climate data, energy modelling, apps for individuals to inform and support decisions around energy supply, transport and diet, tracking carbon in the supply chain, monitoring dashboards and many, many more.

I am very excited to see what new ideas the student teams come up with and wish them all the best with their submissions. More information on the competition, rules and timescales can be found at the Atos IT Challenge website.

We are seeking digital solutions that will support decarbonization initiatives and help companies and society as a whole to tackle climate change.

You can follow the competition on Twitter at @atositchallenge

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About Mike Smith

Head of University Technology Partnerships, Atos Distinguished Expert, Founding member of the Atos Scientific Community
Mike has been in the IT industry for over 20 years, designing and implementing complex infrastructures that underpin key Government and private sector solutions. Setting Atos technical strategy, researching new technologies and supporting the consulting and architect communities. Previously Mike has held technical and management positions in British Rail, Sema Group and Schlumberger. He has a daughter and a son, both keen on anything but technology. Mike's sporting passion rests with Test Match Special, and is jealous/proud of his son's Ice Hockey skills.

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