The programme is designed to accelerate the best AI start-ups in the UK, Europe and beyond to scale globally within a short timeframe and aims to attract disruptive scale-ups that apply AI with high-growth potential while helping them grow into world-leading companies. The University of Edinburgh is home to the largest centres for computing science and informatics in Europe.
The AI Accelerator will be delivered both digitally and in-person by Edinburgh Innovations and the Bayes Centre, the University’s world-leading innovation hub for data science and artificial intelligence, on behalf of all the DDI hubs. The AI Accelerator is also supported by Edinburgh-based strategic design consultancy Nile.
The deadline for applications is 8 August 2021 and the programme will run for six months from 22 September to 18 March 2022.
The cohort taking part in the current AI Accelerator programme comprises 15 companies with high growth potential, each of which is addressing a global challenge, many responding to urgent needs in the health and climate change domains.
Scale Space partnership
Scale Space’s partnership with the University will provide start-up businesses on the Accelerator programme with access to the wide range of expertise, mentoring and knowledge at Scale Space, to help them grow faster and stronger. Scale Space is backed by Blenheim Chalcot, the UK’s leading digital venture builder, and has partnered with Imperial College London to launch the first physical site in White City, London.
Companies on the current programme include BioLiberty, designers of an AI-powered robotic glove that strengthens the user’s grip, Neeuro, which utilises Brain-Computer Interface technology to help ADHD children improve their attention span, and Reath, which enables companies to find compliant and scalable solutions for reusing single use items that have been sent to landfill.
Charlotte Waugh, Enterprise and Innovation Programme Lead, Edinburgh Innovations, said:
We are delighted to be able to offer this fantastic opportunity to global data driven AI scale-ups, and to be partnering once again with Scale Space and Nile to build on the success of previous AI Accelerator programmes. Our USP is providing entrepreneurs with support on commercial skills at the same time as enabling them to tap into the University of Edinburgh’s world leading academic knowledge, data sets, talent and supercomputing facilities.
The Bayes Centre, supported by Edinburgh Innovations, is at the heart of delivering this unique cross-hub collaboration ensuring cutting edge AI tech is at the heart of these market led, real world solutions and providing specialist input, connections and investor networks that scale businesses quickly and successfully.
Mark Sanders, Executive Chairman, Scale Space, and Entrepreneur-in-Residence, said:
I am so very proud to be Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the University of Edinburgh AI Accelerator for a second time and I can’t wait to meet the new cohort. Great things happen when you bring together academic excellence with business-building expertise, and the support provided by this programme is ideal for ambitious scaling businesses. In just a few months, the previous cohort made incredible progress in all areas of their business, developing clearer product propositions, sustainable commercial models and growth strategies.
I wish that group the best of luck and I especially look forward to being able to welcome the new group to attend sessions at Scale Space in White City, which will help build their connections to Imperial College and the London market.
Jim Ashe, Director of Innovation, Bayes Centre, College of Science and Engineering, said:
The AI Accelerator provides an opportunity for data driven AI start-ups to grow and scale their businesses, in a dynamic environment – enabling connections with investors, mentors and their peers. The cohort will have access to the invaluable resources that the Bayes Centre provides.
The AI Accelerator is financed by the Scottish Funding Council through the Data Driven Innovation (DDI) programme.