" class="no-js "lang="en-US"> Tech Nation announces 35 new companies joining Applied AI 4.0
Wednesday, December 06, 2023

Tech Nation announces 35 new companies joining Applied AI 4.0

Tech Nation, the UK’s leading growth platform for tech scaleups, today announces the 35 AI tech companies who have been accepted into Applied AI 4.0 – the fourth iteration of the Applied AI programme.

The six-month government-backed Applied AI programme was created to support and accelerate the UK’s highest-potential scaleups, who are applying AI in practical areas to create real-world impact.  The programme forms part of the Government’s AI Sector Deal, announced in 2019 to realise the social and economic benefits of AI and harness its potential to transform people’s lives for the better.  This year’s successful companies were assessed by over 30 judges across key industries, including government, investors and senior representatives from companies such as Microsoft, J.P. Morgan and PwC.

VC investment in UK AI companies reaches record heights

AI is already a strategic strength to the UK economy, with 2,009 AI companies based in the UK – including a number of well-known and established AI unicorns, including Darktrace, Benevolent AI and Graphcore.

New data from Tech Nation and Dealroom today reveals AI is one of the UK’s fastest growing tech sectors, with VC investment in UK AI companies in 2022 so far at $3.6bn, which puts the UK on track to at least equal the record investment of $7.5bn invested in 2021. Q2 of this year hit an all time record – compared to this period in previous years – of $840mn, with investment into AI historically being loaded towards the end of the calendar year.

This year, 14% of the UK’s VC investment has gone into AI, demonstrating its position as a fundamental technology being developed and applied across different businesses, as a result of its power to transform a wide range of industries.

AI in the UK is working to advance the healthcare sector

The healthcare industry is increasingly looking to AI to improve the efficiency and efficacy of healthcare systems and processes in the UK, as well as improving national health and wellbeing following a turbulent couple of years for the nation and its economy. The top 3 UK-based AI companies bringing in the most VC investment in 2021 are all health-based companies: CMR Surgical (which raised a $600mn in their Series D), Exscientia (with a $525mn Series D) and Oxford Nanopore (with two rounds of £195mn raised in May, and £150mn in September).

Over half (17 out of 35) of the companies in Tech Nation’s newest Applied AI cohort are using AI to impact people’s health and wellbeing. Re:course AI’s platform allows hospitals and other healthcare institutions to launch their own ‘Medical Metaverse’ using conversational AI-powered digital human avatars, while Arete has developed a respiratory medical device – the Respicorder – to target chronic respiratory conditions, including long-COVID. Scaled Insights are helping doctors encourage patients to take prescription drugs by using AI to create personality profiles of patients, and Belfast-based startup Kraydel is helping to give the elderly more independence – as well as better access to health and social care – with a remote controlled TV-based solution called Konnect.

The focus of this year’s Applied AI 4.0 programme

This year’s successful applicants will gain access to 11 compact insight sessions over 6 months delivered by later-stage founders, all focused on key scaling challenges, as well as 6 coaching sessions (intimate Founder Circles with a startup coach to develop leadership skills and peer connections) and regular networking opportunities (with investors, VCs, corporates and peers).

Empowering all of the scaling companies in the new Applied AI cohort is at the core of Tech Nation’s mission to fuel the growth of tech scaleups who are helping us create a stronger economy, society and future – across the board.

Tech Nation is pleased to announce that they are partnering with Cooper Parry to deliver Applied AI 4.0.

Bethany Ayers, COO at Peak and Applied AI 4.0 Judge, said: “Developing AI and deploying it to drive meaningful value are two very different propositions. This is why a growth programme like Applied AI, focused on delivering real-world value, is so important to our industry. It was a pleasure to judge Applied AI 4.0 and see first hand the innovations being developed here in the UK. We have a very exciting future ahead of us!”

Subramanian Ramamoorthy, Director, Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour at the University of Edinburgh and Applied AI 4.0 Judge, said: “It is great to see such a strong field of applicants to this programme. I was especially impressed by the way most companies had worked AI naturally into a larger problem of societal relevance. This is where Tech Nation’s Applied AI 4.0 programme can add significant value, by helping these companies deepen their network and explore the many facets of building such a business.”

Megan Reynolds, Investor at Crane Venture Partners and Applied AI 4.0 Judge, said: “With every Applied AI cohort, I am blown away by the depth and diversity of AI talent in the UK, and the exceptional companies they’re building. This year is taking it up a level with founders tackling complex problems in more traditional industries like legal and finance, but also developer tooling and the underlying infrastructure for ML systems. With former Applied AI cohort members becoming large companies (e.g. Calipsa and Flexciton) and already scaled UK success stories (e.g. Onfido), the need for infrastructure tooling to enable them to scale securely is greater than ever.”

Vanessa Viana, Global Managing Partner at Capital Lab Ventures and Applied AI 4.0 Judge, said: “The companies joining the Tech Nation Applied AI 4.0 represent the very best and most exciting of UK tech. Their highly prepared founders are applying AI in practical areas and solving real-life problems that will shape the future of various industries. Through its network of experts, the Applied AI growth programme is a unique invaluable asset to them. It supports the development of unfair advantages for their businesses and tackles the specific challenges related to scaling early-stage AI companies in the real-world.”

Ria Khan, Applied AI Programme Lead at Tech Nation, said: “We at Tech Nation are delighted to welcome a cohort of companies who are not afraid to break boundaries, transform and disrupt industries. I’m especially excited by the regional diversity of this cohort, with nearly three quarters of the companies hailing from outside of London. It’s a genuine honour to support such a diverse range of future market leaders on their scaling journeys as they change our world for the better.”

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