Innovate UK launches £100m AI fund
By Catrin Jones28 April 2023
In a bid to promote the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), Innovate UK, the UK’s national innovation agency, has launched a £100 million programme (US$124 million) called BridgeAI.
The initiative, which is partly funded by Innovate UK and the Technologies Mission Fund, will bring together companies from priority sectors such as agriculture, construction, transportation, and creative industries, with AI experts and developers.
The aim of BridgeAI is to create an AI innovation network in the UK that will help businesses enhance productivity and efficiency. The programme aligns with the UK Government’s National AI Strategy as the country transitions to an AI-enabled economy.
The upcoming competition, ‘Feasibility Studies for AI Solutions’, will invest up to £5 million in short-term (4-6 month) AI innovation projects. The competition is targeted at UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the four aforementioned sectors, with awards granted to applications that demonstrate how they can use AI to address business challenges and opportunities to drive an increase in productivity.
“The BridgeAI programme marks a significant investment in UK business,” says Will Drury, Executive Director, Digital and Technology at Innovate UK.
“We aim to unlock the untapped potential of AI and drive greater productivity and efficiency across key sectors. By nurturing AI innovation at the grass roots 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.”
Successful grant applicants can receive up to £50,000 and applications close on 25th May 2023.