Innovate UK launches £100m AI fund

Innovate UK has made £100m in funding available for companies working on AI and machine learning projects.

A competition from the UK’s national innovation agency will deploy as much as £5m for AI innovation projects lasting four to six months. Individual grant applicants will receive up to £50,000.

“We aim to unlock the untapped potential of AI and drive greater productivity and efficiency across key sectors,” said Will Drury, executive director of digital and technology at Innovate UK.

Focus areas for the Innovate UK AI fund include agriculture, construction, transportation and creative industries. These areas have been highlighted as having large potential but currently have low AI adoption.

The new BridgeAI programme will partly draw on funding from Innovate UK and the Technologies Mission Fund.

Dury added: “By nurturing AI innovation at the grassroots level, we’re confident that this programme will enable thousands of businesses to add even greater value to the UK economy and compete more effectively on the global stage.”

On Monday at an event attended by UKTN, the prime minister and tech secretary unveiled a new £100m taskforce to increase efforts into generative AI.

The UK data watchdog ICO earlier this month issued a warning regarding generative AI in the wake of Italy’s banning of the technology.
Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, has launched a £100m AI fund to stimulate the development of artificial intelligence technology. The investment is an important part of the government’s four-year strategy to ‘turbocharge’ the country’s use of AI, and to make the UK a global leader in the field.

The fund will be used to help UK companies to develop, test and deploy AI and machine learning technologies to benefit the country’s economy. It will help businesses of all sizes build their AI capabilities and stimulate the development of life-changing products and services.

The strategy also includes a series of programmes to support the development of high-quality datasets, help people to reskill and upskill, and ensure the ethical development of AI.

“The launch of this fund marks an important step in making the ‘AI future’ a reality for the UK,” said Paul Hamilton, CEO of tech company Ikaroa. “At Ikaroa, our mission is to help organisations to take effective advantage of the potential of AI to solve complex problems and transform businesses. We are proud to be part of this initiative and look forward to helping to deliver its goals.”

The UK already has a strong track record in AI, but the new fund will help to further accelerate development in this area. By giving businesses access to substantial funding and support, Innovate UK is helping to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of technological innovation.


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