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New collaboration between The Alan Turing Institute and Digital Catapult provides funding for London start-ups and scale-ups to open their data challenges to researchers

Posted 16 Aug 2018

The Alan Turing Institute and Digital Catapult are allies in the effort to make the UK the best place in the world for data science and AI research, collaboration and business. Today we announce a formal collaboration between the Turing and Digital Catapult, which will support start-ups and scale-ups headquartered or operational in London to develop their innovative ideas.

Together the two institutions will provide support for nine separate start-up or scale-up companies to participate as challenge owners in any one of the Turing’s Data Study Groups held between December 2018 and March 2020. This collaboration will open new opportunities for eligible start-ups and scale-ups to work together with academic researchers on data-driven industry challenges.

A Data Study Group is a five-day ‘collaborative hackathon’ which aims to find data science solutions to real-world problems. These week-long events allow organisations to work with the Institute in a unique setting.

Data Study Groups engage talent from across the UK and further afield, providing access to a pool of researchers they may never otherwise have the opportunity to collaborate with. Previous Data Study Groups have led to wider and deeper collaborations stemming from opportunities spotted during these intensive weeks.

This initiative is part of Digital Catapult’s Machine Intelligence Garage programme, commissioned as part of CAP-AI project, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The programme objective is to help AI and machine learning businesses gain access to the technical expertise, computation power, knowledge and innovation they need to succeed, grow and realise the UK’s economic potential in this area. The project will enable AI start-ups and scale-ups to take part in innovation activities, working closely with industry, academia and other AI businesses.

“A Data Study Group is a wholly unique experience, in which a collaborative community of motivated data science experts team up to jointly create a seed for follow-up research and translational activities,” Dr Sebastian Vollmer, Director of Data Study Groups at the Turing commented. “It’s a wonderful initiative, because the researchers who bring their talent to attack these data problems are true innovators, ranging from PhD students to early career researchers to leading academics in their field. “

“In addition, each Data Study Group comprises a diverse mix of organisations at different stages of development, all interacting to find solutions to thorny problems. Start-ups and scale-ups will come away from this experience with a fresh perspective, having had the opportunity to trial new cutting-edge research methods.”

Dr Jeremy Silver, CEO Digital Catapult, added: “This is our first formal partnership with the Turing and we’re looking forward to bringing exciting start-ups and scale-ups together with academia. The UK has the right ingredients to become a global leader in the development of AI and machine learning and this partnership is a brilliant way of demonstrating how start-ups and scale-ups can apply their ideas to real-world problems.”

For application info see our page ‘Get involved as a Challenge Owner’.