AI and machine learning innovation fund targets construction

Abstract image for AI and machine learning
Image: 154147490 © Alexandersikov |

Construction is one of the sectors being targeted by Innovate UK’s new £100m fund to drive adoption of AI and machine learning technology.

Named Bridge AI, the fund targets other business sectors with “high growth potential”, namely agriculture, transportation and the creative industries, to help them enhance productivity and efficiency through AI and machine learning.

BridgeAI supports the government’s National AI Strategy. It will be delivered in collaboration with a network of strategic delivery partners. Key partners include Digital Catapult, Hartree Centre – both part of the Innovate UK system – and the Alan Turing Institute.

The upcoming competition, ‘Feasibility Studies for AI Solutions’, will invest up to £5m in short-term AI innovation projects. UK-registered micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the agriculture, construction, transportation, and creative industries can enter.

Awards will be granted to applications that demonstrate how they can address business challenges and opportunities to drive an increase in productivity using AI, in collaboration with an AI developer or academic organisation. Successful grant applicants can receive up to £50,000. Applications close on 25 May.

Will Drury, executive director, digital and technology at Innovate UK, said: “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.”

Tabitha Goldstaub, chair of the AI Council, explained: “As we see large companies reap the rewards of adopting AI, it’s even more important to ensure that lower AI maturity UK sectors get the support they need to benefit from the economic and social benefits this technology brings. By building innovation networks to stimulate both the demand and supply side, I’m excited to see the potential BridgeAI has to turbo charge those industries that are often left behind.”

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