Baidu Launches Second ERNIE Cup, A Global Innovation Challenge to Discover the Next Big AI-Native Applications

SHENZHEN, China, April 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU and HKEX: 9888) (“Baidu” or the “Company”), a leading AI company with strong internet foundation, yesterday announced the launch of the second ERNIE Cup Innovation Challenge. Following the success of the inaugural competition, this year’s challenge is open to entrepreneurial teams focused on AI-native applications from around the world, offering the chance to receive up to RMB 50 million in funds and resources.

Robin Li, Co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of Baidu, announced the opening of the second ERNIE Cup Innovation Challenge at Create 2024

This year’s ERNIE Cup, unveiled at the Create 2024 Baidu AI Developer Conference by Baidu Co-founder, Chairman, and CEO Robin Li, substantially enhances support for entrepreneurs, including more strategic investments, business resources, and media exposure. Participants will not only receive top-notch technical guidance and strong ecosystem support but also have the opportunity to interact with an elite judging panel consisting of Baidu AI experts and top investors as they compete for the top prizes.

In May last year, Baidu launched the first ERNIE Cup Innovation Challenge to promote the vibrant growth of the foundation model ecosystem and assist entrepreneurs and developers in creating a range of AI-native applications.

“In the first ERNIE Cup Innovation Challenge, we received nearly 1000 team registrations,” Li noted at Create 2024. “Baidu provided nearly RMB 100 million in investment support to 15 winning teams and continued to provide comprehensive support in technology, team, and resources.

Li further said that in the second ERNIE Cup, Baidu will expand the project selection scope, set up sub-venues, increase support for entrepreneurs, and provide more sufficient investment funds and richer business resources.

Registration began on April 16, 2024, remaining open until May 15, 2024. The challenge welcomes entrepreneurial and innovative teams working on generative AI from around the world, from domain-specific applications to agents or any area where foundation models can solve problems and create value.

The champion, runner-up, and third-place teams will receive funds and resources valued at RMB 10 million, RMB 5 million, and RMB 2 million, respectively. This year, the challenge also includes a new accolade called the “Special Prize”, which carries the remarkable opportunity for the winning team to receive up to RMB 50 million in funds and resources.

This year, the ERNIE Cup has also introduced the YOUNG competition, a specialized category designed for university students. The competition offers university participants encouragement awards, with a prize pool of up to RMB 1 million. Top-notch mentoring, beneficial employment support, and a wealth of entrepreneurial resources are also available for the participants. The YOUNG competition aims to discover the future AI stars and provide a platform for students eager to embrace and explore AI, encouraging them to create innovative and practical AI-native applications.

Baidu has been at the forefront of AI investment for a decade, creating a thriving ecosystem. ERNIE has emerged as China’s leading AI foundation model with the broadest range of applications, as ERNIE Bot garners 200 million users while ERNIE API handles 200 million daily queries. As of April 2024, Baidu’s deep learning framework, PaddlePaddle, has attracted 12.95 million developers and has been utilized by 244,000 enterprises and institutional users, with 895,000 models in total developed using the platform.

Baidu invites all aspiring AI innovators to join in the adventure of shaping the future of AI applications and contributing to a thriving AI ecosystem. For those interested in participating, details and registration information are available on the official ERNIE Cup website:

About Baidu

Founded in 2000, Baidu’s mission is to make the complicated world simpler through technology. Baidu is a leading AI company with strong internet foundation, trading on the NASDAQ under “BIDU” and HKEX under “9888.” One Baidu ADS represents eight Class A ordinary shares.

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