Fifteen artificial intelligence (AI) startups have been chosen to join the University of Edinburgh’s Post-Covid AI Accelerator Programme.
Based at the Bayes Centre, the six-month programme received 86 applications and aims to support AI startups with high growth potential.
Each of the firms selected for the programme aims to address a major global challenge. Many of the startups chosen focus on areas such as healthcare, climate change and robotics.
One of the companies chosen is BioLiberty, which hit headlines this week with the launch of its AI-powered robotic glove that helps people with muscular weakness.
Another selected, Neeuro, develops digital therapeutics that could help children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) improve their attention span.
Reath, which uses data analytics to help businesses find ways of reusing items that would otherwise end up in landfill, was also chosen as one of the programme participants.
The scheme is run in partnership with Scale Space, the UK’s leading digital venture builder, and involves the University’s commercialisation service, Edinburgh Innovations.
Participants will benefit from tailored advice and support, group working sessions and conferences to help their businesses grow.
Support will also include business mentoring, expert advice from industry leaders and access to a digital community that offers business growth services and opportunities to exchange ideas.
Through the Data Driven Innovation (DDI) programme, each of the 15 start-ups will also receive a £7,500 grant from the Scottish Funding Council.
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The DDI programme, which is part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, aims to help Edinburgh become the Data Capital of Europe, creating wider benefits for the economy and society.
Commenting on the programme selections, Jim Ashe, Director of Innovation at the Bayes Centre said: “We are delighted to have received funding from the Scottish Funding Council through the DDI programme to enable these dynamic AI companies to grow through participation in the successful Bayes AI accelerator programme.
“Bayes offers access to world-leading academic knowledge, data sets and the UK’s supercomputing facility, together in an environment of investors, entrepreneurs, academics, students and industrial partners.”
Scottish Government Finance Secretary Kate Forbes MSP added: “A key enabler of Scotland’s recovery from Covid-19 is digital and technology, so it’s great to see the University of Edinburgh’s Post-Covid AI Accelerator support companies exploring how AI can be developed and used in many areas, such as health, and helping to tackle the climate emergency.
“With Scotland’s AI Strategy due to be launched on 22 March, this is an encouraging demonstration of some of the wealth of AI talent already in Scotland, budding international collaborations, and how AI can be used for good. I look forward to following the progress of the Accelerator going forward.”