Audi announces grant to California Institute of Technology for development of new climate model

  • The $100,000 grant, issued in collaboration with Audi’s Environmental Foundation, will fund innovative research into a next generation climate model
  • The Caltech team leads an effort of the Climate Modeling Alliance (CliMA), comprised of scientists and engineers from across the country
  • The new climate model aims to provide more precise and actionable projections of future climate, using novel machine learning techniques

HERNDON, Va., April 22, 2020 – In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Audi is proud to announce the brand's support for innovative initiatives that address the impacts of climate change. Audi of America (AoA) and the Audi Environmental Foundation are awarding a $100,000 grant to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), the lead institution in the Climate Modeling Alliance (CliMA). The grant will fund researchers in their pursuit of a novel new climate model, a critical tool for understanding future global and regional climate patterns.

The new CliMA climate model leverages recent advances in artificial intelligence, advanced computing, and machine learning to generate more precise and actionable projections of future changes in Earth’s climate, such as cloud cover, rainfall, and sea ice extent. Compared to existing models, the goal is to reduce uncertainties by at least twofold. The new model integrates greater amounts of observational data from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a CliMA research partner, and simulates critical small-scale features missed in models that focus on larger scales. This model will be capable of “zooming in” to examine detailed regional information as well.

AoA’s collaboration with the Audi Environmental Foundation, headquartered in Germany, is the first of a series of philanthropic initiatives the two organizations will offer to help address the global challenge of climate change and other critical environmental issues. Audi is committed to reducing CO2 emissions, first by 30% by 2025, along our path to carbon neutrality by 2050. Since 2009, the Audi Environmental Foundation has been supporting programs that fuse innovation with resource conservation, sustainability, and environmental protection, dubbed “Greenovation”.

“Climate change persists as a key global societal challenge, and we are increasing our commitment to drive sustainable progress in a variety of innovative ways,” said Spencer Reeder, director of Government Affairs and Sustainability at Audi of America. “This is a top priority for Audi and we are excited to support Caltech and CliMA in their ambitious research endeavor to better understand the future risks facing our planet.”

The consortium is pursuing an aggressive timeline, with hopes to have their new climate model running within the next five years Caltech is working collaboratively with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the Naval Postgraduate School; and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which Caltech manages for NASA. The many partner institutions are bringing different research expertise to the project.

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Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands, delivering about 1.845 million vehicles globally in 2019. In the U.S., Audi of America sold just over 224,000 vehicles in 2019 and launched the brand’s first fully electric vehicle, the Audi e-tron – one of four fully electric models coming to the U.S. market in the next two years. Globally, the brand aims to be CO2 neutral by 2050. Visit or for more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.



The Audi Environmental Foundation (Audi Stiftung für Umwelt GmbH) is an active promoter of research into new technologies and scientific methods for a future worth living. Its stated goal is to make a contribution to environmental protection and to create and promote ways of sustainable action. The foundation focuses in particular on the promotion and development of environmentally compatible technologies, environmental educational activities and the protection of the natural resources of humans, animals and plants. It was established in 2009 by AUDI AG as a wholly owned subsidiary and is part of its social and environmental commitment.

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