IRCAI Global Top 100


Applicants should use the IRCAI electronic submission system to submit their proposal.  The deadline for electronic submissions is 31 November 2021.


How to get involved in the IRCAI AI Award 2021?

The International Research Centre in Artificial Intelligence under the auspices of UNESCO is launching an AI Award for individuals who have dedicated their work to solving problems related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by means of the application of Artificial Intelligence.

IRCAI is a new UNESCO affiliated Artificial Intelligence (AI) centre focused on the potential of AI to address the SDGs.

The IRCAI Award is a new award that will highlight the valuable work of individual researchers, developers or educators, who have shown results and demonstrated impact from the application of AI to address any of the seventeen UN SDGs. It will be presented annually to someone who has made a significant contribution (technical, or policy and practice, or research and development) to the AI and SDG community.

The award will be presented in December 2021, at the end of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and is accompanied by a financial prize plus travel expenses to an inaugural event in either Paris, France or Ljubljana, Slovenia depending on the pandemic condition.

We strongly encourage nominations from across all UNESCO regions Africa, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Equally, we strongly encourage nominations from all backgrounds: research, academia, industry, policy, civil society, etc., as IRCAI is committed to promoting equal opportunities and believe that all applicants are entitled to equality of opportunity regardless of their sex, race, ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, marital status or age.

Assessment Guidelines

Programme Committees might hold additional interviews with the applicants.

General Questions (these may not apply to all candidates):

  • Tell us why your AI work and no one else’s can ensure the best outcome for solving a particular Sustainable Development problem. Expect to mention originality and initiative.
  • How and when will one be able to measure the significance of the impact of your work on society?
  • What difference would be receiving the AI Award from IRCAI make to you?


We have assembled a team of independent and impartial judges.

After the nomination window closes on 31 November 2021, nominations will be sent to the relevant IRCAI Programme Committees for initial sifting. The panels will each review, categorize and shortlist nominations to go forward into the final list. Interviews will be held in December 2021 and the results will be announced in late December 2021. The awardee will be invited to deliver a lecture at the IRCAI press conference in Paris, France or Ljubljana, Slovenia in January 2022, in the presence of representatives from all UNESCO Member States!


Submission period: 1 July 2021 – 31 November 2021
Shortlist: by end of December 2021

Report announcement: Decision letters will be sent out approximately three weeks after the submission deadline.
Report ceremony: An event will be held in January 2022, depending on the COVID-19 pandemic when an announcement will be made at a press conference.


  • Potential applicants should send their questions to
  • The email subject should be “IRCAI AI Award”. Only questions sent to this mailbox will be answered. Answers will be published periodically and within a reasonable period of time on the IRCAI webpage. The deadline for submitting questions related to this call is 25 November 2021.
  • We expect to inform applicants of the results of the evaluation within 3 weeks of the submission deadline.


This call is being organized by IRCAI in close collaboration with Knowledge 4 All Foundation, UNESCO Chair in Artificial Intelligence (University College London, UK) with the generous support of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.



International Research Centre in Artificial Intelligence
under the auspices of UNESCO (IRCAI)

Jožef Stefan Institute
Jamova cesta 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana


The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout this website do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

Design by Ana Fabjan