Artificial intelligence to improve Scotland’s protected areas

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NATURESCOT has today launched the next phase of a £1.25 million project using artificial intelligence to improve the management of Scotland’s protected areas.

The aim is for a new online service that will combine previously under-used data on planning and protected areas with a range of new technologies, including artificial intelligence.

The project, funded through the UK-wide GovTech Catalyst Challenge, is exploring how new and emerging technology can improve access to information about our most valuable nature sites.

Naturescot announce new 1.25 million project| Scottish News
NatureScot has today launched the next phase of a £1.25 million project using artificial intelligence to improve the management of Scotland’s protected areas (Photo by K B on Unsplash)

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

“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.

From a field of 24 tech companies that entered the challenge, Informed Solutions and Astrosat/Intelligent Reality – have now been selected to develop the final product.

Seth Finegan, UK CEO at Informed Solutions, said: “ The NatureScot GovTech Catalyst challenge is an incredibly important initiative, not only for this unique project to help protect land in Scotland, but for environmental projects the world over.

“We’re excited to be able to use our digital experience and data integration and analytics platforms to deliver a unique service that will help look after environmentally sensitive areas for future generations in Scotland and beyond.”

computer switchboard | Scottish News
From a field of 24 tech companies that entered the challenge, two finalists – Informed Solutions and Astrosat/Intelligent Reality – have now been selected to develop the final product (Photo from Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash)

Steve Lee, Astrosat CEO said: “Better Information for land managers epitomises every pro-environmental good that Astrosat stands for. 

“We are thrilled to be working with NatureScot and Intelligent Reality on this project, which is the perfect application for demonstrating the power of Astrosat’s geospatial data visualisation platform Orbis.”