First cohort of AI and machine-learning startups accepted onto Machine Intelligence Garage programme

24 January 2018

Startups have been selected to take part in a programme launched by Digital Catapult, supporting the UK’s role as a global centre for artificial intelligence development.

Digital Catapult has announced the first cohort of startups selected to join Machine Intelligence Garage, the innovation programme driving machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) development in the UK. The initiative will support the Government’s ambition to boost the UK’s role as a global hub for AI development.

The selected startups will benefit from access to computation power and expertise, removing a significant barrier to growth in this area. Digital Catapult’s study Machines for Machine Intelligence published at the launch of Machine Intelligence Garage, surveyed approximately 10% of the UK's AI and machine learning startups, and found that over half are constrained in their growth by access to computation power. A single training run for a ML system can cost upwards of £10,000.

The startups were unveiled at an AI industry event this week, organised by Digital Catapult at its London centre, which formally launched the programme’s first cohort. The event brought together the programme’s partners and collaborators: leading computation power providers, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Graphcore, SpiNNaker, the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Hartree Centre, EPCC and NVIDIA; along with academics, keynote speakers, and investors.

Machine Intelligence Garage is a critical part of Digital Catapult’s AI strategy, to collaboratively work with industry and academia to promote rapid adoption of AI across sectors and the wider economy.  The programme is available to companies that are developing products or services that use ML or AI. Applications are assessed based on the strength of the idea submitted and technical implementation plan, availability of data, and the immediacy of the need for computation power. Companies’ ethical use of data is also paramount.

“Members of the first cohort have been carefully selected for their innovative use cases in AI, ethical values and ambition. We’re confident that their journey with the Machine Intelligence Garage will provide them with the support, expertise and compute resource they need to reach their full potential.” Dr Marko Balabanovic, Chief Technology Officer, Digital Catapult

Those selected to take part include digital manufacturing startups Intellisense and Predina, digital health startups Cambridge Bio-Augmentation Systems and GTN, and the natural language processing startup Bloomsbury AI. The event was the first opportunity for the startups to meet the partners who will be helping them develop their products, with presentations from Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services. 

“As recognised by the recent 'Growing the artificial intelligence industry in the UK' independent review by Benevolent.ai CEO Jerome Pesenti and myself, access to computation power is amongst the significant barriers to innovation around Machine Learning and AI. It is great to see Digital Catapult’s Machine Intelligence Garage programme addressing this barrier for startups, and we hope to see cross fertilisation with other organisations such as The Alan Turing Institute that will be looking into similar challenges for the academic community.” Dame Wendy Hall, who also addressed the event via video

The latest Open Call went live on 23 January 2018, with applications to roll every six weeks thereafter.

Further information

Machine Intelligence Garage website: www.migarage.ai

Blog post: EPCC and the Machine Intelligence Garage

Machine Intelligence Garage will run for three years. The programme is delivered by Digital Catapult as part of the CAP-AI project and is part funded through the European Regional Development Fund and an Innovate UK grant.

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Contact

Tracy Peet
+44 (0) 131 650 5362
t.peet@epcc.ed.ac.uk

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