IRRI receives Google support to apply AI for climate resilient rice development

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Leveraging the International Rice Genebank collection for a food-secure future

LOS BANOS, LAGUNA, PHILIPPINES (Sept. 12, 2023) – The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is receiving 2 million USD in grant funding from Google’s philanthropic arm,, to harness the power of Artificial intelligence (AI) towards fast-tracking the development and deployment of high-yielding, climate-resilient rice varieties to sustain and increase rice production in the face of climate change.

Google’s philanthropic arm,, has set up this competitive grant to harness the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Through this grant, the researchers from IRRI’s Fit-for-Future Genetic Resources unit that steward the International Rice Genebank (IRG) aim to apply a combination of AI and high-throughput phenotyping methodologies to assess the IRG rice collection’s tolerance to abiotic stresses such as flooding, drought, and salinity – making a laborious, costly, and time-consuming process more efficient. This will also promote the enhanced utilization of the genebank’s resources.

“IRRI’s genebank is the world’s largest rice gene bank and holds, in trust, over 132,000 varieties originating from 132 countries. This rich resource is used for breeding to develop new and better rice varieties. At present, only five percent of this resource is used due to limited information on its collections, as we lack appropriate, cost-effective, and high-throughput phenotyping methodologies. AI will undoubtedly unlock the genebank’s full potential in helping address these critical food security challenges,” said IRG Head, Dr. Venuprasad Ramaiah.’s AI for the Global Goals Impact Challenge is part of Google’s company-wide commitment to help accelerate progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals . IRRI is one of 15 organizations receiving support through the $25 million philanthropy challenge for projects…

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