Mercatus Center Announces the Launch of Emergent Ventures AI

Arlington, VA—The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is pleased to announce a new vertical of Emergent Ventures (EV) dedicated to supporting artificial intelligence researchers and talent. This new tranche of grants is supported by Schmidt Futures. EV founder Dr. Tyler Cowen will serve as director of Emergent Ventures AI, working with EV India Director Dr. Shruti Rajagopalan, to identify and foster talent in emerging economies.

“When we launched Emergent Ventures, my number one goal was to shine a light on talent that has historically been overlooked by our entrenched systems,” said Dr. Cowen. “The EV format is well-suited to identify talent in the field of AI. Countries largely take a passive role in recruiting this talent, leaving thousands of high potential AI innovators undiscovered and unsupported.”  

EV AI takes an active approach at scouting and supporting both credentialed and uncredentialed AI talent with enormous potential in emerging economies. For AI researchers and entrepreneurs, EV AI will be the fastest path to receiving funding needed to accelerate their work. The EV AI application is short—designed to take about 30 minutes to complete—and often decisions are made and funds are dispersed within days of receiving an application. This process will allow us to see innovation in the AI space more quickly and reduce the time it takes to apply AI solutions in the public and private sectors.

Emergent Ventures began in 2018 as an incubator fellowship and grant program for social entrepreneurs with highly scalable ideas for meaningfully improving society. In 2020, two issue-specific verticals developed from the initial program. EV India supports entrepreneurs focusing on “moonshot” projects related to India, and FastGrants has awarded over $50 million to support scientific research and treatments for COVID-19.

Applications for EV AI are now open at  Click the “Apply Now” button and note how your project relates to AI as you answer the questionnaire. There is no application deadline for EV AI, but applicants are encouraged to apply quickly, as funds are limited.

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