EPCC and the Machine Intelligence Garage

Author: David Homan
Posted: 14 Oct 2020 | 10:32

During the past year EPCC has increased its engagement with the Machine Intelligence Garage, a UK Government programme that supports innovative startups which make use of machine-learning techniques and artificial intelligence (AI).

Part of the Machine Intelligence Garage's remit is to enable technical support, such as HPC services, which is provided by various partners. For example, its industrial partners include AWS, Google Cloud, and NVIDIA. EPCC is a founding partner and we also offer support and potential collaboration for interested startups.

The Machine Intelligence Garage works with startups across a range of industries that are developing products in many different fields, with the unifying factor the technologies with which these companies work. For example, the current cohort contains startups operating in neuro-linguistic programming and fintech, as well as those working on hardware development. This presents the potential for interesting collaborations with EPCC, working with companies developing new techniques, as well as for us to play a part in introducing HPC systems to interested parties.

Following an introductory presentation by EPCC at the start of this year, a diverse group of Machine Intelligence Garage startups expressed interest in working with us. The broad expertise available within EPCC proved to be a particularly important draw for these potential collaborators.

Two of these newly established connections illustrate the range of projects, as well as the services that EPCC can provide. 

Our collaboration with Additive Flow focuses on optimisation for additive manufacturing (3D printing). The company wanted to increase the computational scale of its material modelling and we were able to provide access to Cirrus, a national Tier-2 HPC system, as well as support in switching software to an HPC architecture.

We undertook a different type of engagement with Sundance Microprocessor Technology. Sundance works on the application of FPGAs to a variety of different tasks, including running AI. The company has many years’ experience in hardware development and sought out EPCC to explore a collaboration that would combine both organisations’ expertise. After working with EPCC’s Dr Nick Brown, Sundance is now able to expand its hardware capabilities using an HPC system, and is planning to work with one of EPCC’s MSc students on a research project in the coming year.

Each annual cohort of Machine Intelligence Garage startups will be introduced to EPCC, providing the possibility of further collaborations in the future.

The Machine Intelligence Garage is a programme of the UK Government’s Digital Catapult centre, which designs and delivers specialised innovation programmes to drive UK leadership and economic growth.


The Machine Intelligence Garage
EPCC's MSc programmes 


David Homann, EPCC

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