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Automated Identification - BiostratAI

Automated identification of fossils under the microscope


Business Category
Earth Observation

StairwAI First Open Call Challenge 8: Logistics


What is the challenge that is being addressed?

Several industries - oil&gas, carbon sequestration, critical raw mineral exploration, etc - rely on the geological knowledge of the subsurface. Among the disciplines used to characterize the geological layers is biostratigraphy (using microfossils), which allows to determine the geological age, types of sedimentation environments (lakes, rivers, open sea, etc) and the potential for petroleum and other geological resources.

Despite its use for over a century, the observation and interpretation techniques have remained essentially the same – observation of samples under a microscope by a specialist. Only recently has digitalization – by the use of high-resolution slide scanners, initially used in medical pathology – allowed the automation of some of the processes. Each slide produded from a geological sample typically contains thousands of microfossils.

rock_microscope StairwAI


What is the AI solution the project plans to implement?

This technological breakthrough has also opened the door to the use of AI and specifically machine learning to automate image capture and identification of different types of microfossils. First attempts have been made by research institutions, but the technology is still in its infancy and has not been transferred to industrial uses.
Existing case studies include image acquisition by high-resolution slide scanners, producing multi-Gb images followed by the application of CNN or similar techniques to identify types of microfossils. The initial steps require training by a specialist, but the expected result is the automation or semi-automation of the microfossil identification, allowing very significant time-savings and consistent (non-user dependant) results.

rock_microscope StairwAI


Who will help implement this solution?

Chronosurveys Lda


This project is funded and supported through the first Open Call of the StairwAI project.

The selected company will receive a maximum of €60.000, that includes:

  1. fixed lump-sum: up to € 26 000
  2. vouchers: up to € 10 000 to access HW Resources and up to € 24 000 for AI experts (mentors and system integrators).
    • Support from Technical and Business Experts and access to specialized tools as a part of a Support Program.
    • levelling up the business in terms of AI maturity.
    • Improving key processes in the company, which will increase competitiveness.


Learn more about StairwAI's Open Calls:

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