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'Palm Tree Detection Challenge' Poses Unique Test for Tech Startups

Interested applicants have until 7th October to bid for their chance to compete in the exciting tech startup competition as part of this year’s Dubai Airshow.

Dom Radcliffe

The world’s techiest startups, developers and entrepreneurs are being invited to compete against one another once again at this year’s VISTA - Dubai’s annual East-West Startup Hub - in a tree counting competition with a twist. Taking place from 14-18 November at the Dubai Airshow 2021, challengers will be tasked with delivering an end-to-end deep learning or machine learning model to automatically detect a large number of local palm trees from RGB aerial imagery, with efficient computational time.

In preparation for The Palm Tree Challenge, aerial images consisting of over 250,000 palm trees will be given to participants for labelling and training purposes. The challenge will require them to combine Aerospace technology with high-end machine learning infrastructures to create autonomous scanning and spotting solutions.

The competition is in collaboration with Mohamed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) and Amazon Web Service (AWS) with a grand prize of USD $25,000 in AWS Credits as well as the chance to work with MBRSC up for grabs.

The challenge has been designed to bring out the potential of data-driven Aerial imaging, a sector of emerging technology which has seen a great deal of investment in recent years. Between 2020 and 2021, tech startups such as Saudi-based UnitX and FalconViz have been raising some of the largest funding rounds in the startup game, $2 million YTD and $12 million YTD respectively. Often focussed on drone imaging, end-to-end data processing and general aerial machine learning, these startups are working with technologies used to elevate many business functions from engineering, construction, shipping to medical rescue and public policy. The competition’s six finalists will pitch live at the world’s biggest gathering of aerospace innovators and disruptors for a chance to take their creations to the next level and do the same. 

Offering mentorship from MBRSC and AWS for each successful applicant, this opportunity is not one to be missed. Applications are open until October 7th and can be submitted via the website.


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