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Oxfordshire: Five companies join AI growth programme

By Dan Teuton
14 October 2020

Five companies from Oxfordshire are among 32 companies joining the AI Growth Programme, which has been designed to champion and support the UK's leading AI scaleups through peer-to-peer learning.

Archangel Imaging, Arctoris, Caristo, ILOF and Optellum, join the programme which forms part of the UK Government's AI Sector Deal, supported by the Office for AI

  • 44% of founders joining the programme are female, and 59% of the companies are based outside of London
  • New data shows that the UK is leading Europe and is third globally for VC investment into AI in 2020, while demand for AI skills continues to rise, up 111% from 2017 to 2019

Tech Nation, the growth platform for tech companies and leaders, has announced the 32 companies that have been selected to join the Applied AI Growth programme and reveals new data that shows the UK leads Europe for AI investment.

The programme has been designed to champion and support the UK’s most exceptional deep tech scaleups through peer-to-peer learning and mentoring sessions, addressing the particular scaling challenges for companies in the AI sector. 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.

Archangel Imaging, Didcot, uses AI at the edge and human-machine teaming to solve global problems like protecting people, animals and infrastructure. They have built AI-enabled cameras which operate in challenging environments and a human-machine teaming platform called Cerebella. Cerebella integrates smart cameras and other sensors to detect anomalies, allowing drone, robotic or human staff to respond in real time.

Jonathan Mist, co-founder at Archangel Imaging, commented: “At Archangel Imaging, we believe in a future where humans and machines work closely together to solve the world's most complex problems like protecting people, animals and infrastructure. We are incredibly excited to join this Tech Nation cohort to work with the best in the industry to accelerate our vision.”

Arctoris, Oxford, generates drug discovery data on demand for pharmaceutical corporations, biotech companies, and academic centres globally. They provide remote access to a wide range of drug discovery experiments which they conduct on their robotic platform, enabling partners and clients to rapidly, accurately and cost-effectively perform research and advance drug discovery programmes, creating a convincing solution for fast, reliable and fully compliant research.

Thomas Fleming, co-founder and COO of Arctoris, commented: “Arctoris is a high-growth tech/biotech company and the Applied AI programme will give us the opportunity to learn from other leading scaleups and enter a talented and creative community. We hope to take inspiration from unexpected sources, and further build on our networks in the UK and globally.”

Caristo, Oxford, is disrupting diagnosis and treatment of coronary heart disease. This bold claim is supported by a solid science platform, with a string of groundbreaking publications in top-tier scientific journals. Caristo's vision is to be the predominant clinical AI provider in diagnostic imaging, with a plan to tackle major disease areas like diabetes and stroke.

Dr Cheerag Shirodaria, CEO of Caristo Diagnostics, commented: “Caristo is proud to be part of the Applied AI program. We firmly believe that the experience will help us on our journey to bring our unique technology to help identify patients at risk of future heart attacks years before they happen.”

ILOF, Oxford, is creating an AI-powered digital library of disease biomarkers - and helping to find Alzheimer’s cure, ILoF is enabling a new era of personalised medicine by using AI and photonics. They leverage machine learning to drastically reduce the cost and time of drug discovery, and provide screening and stratification tools in an affordable, fast and portable way.

Mehak Mumtaz, COO & co-founder of ILOF, commented: “Participating in the program will accelerate our growth, both nationally and abroad, by allowing us to learn from industry leaders in the space, access world-class coaching sessions and develop a network both within and outside the UK. We are also extremely excited to be able to interact and learn from other companies in the AI space.”

Optellum, Oxford, helps clinicians identify, diagnose and track at-risk patients in the early, hence curable stages. Optellum developed the world’s first AI-based Decision Support platform to manage these patients, validated in studies led by lung cancer guidelines authors.

Martina Miskufova, CFOO of Optellum, commented: “The collective expertise of the programme will help us accelerate Optellum's commercialisation, giving lung cancer patients around the world the best chance to fight back.”

59% of companies joining the programme are based outside of London, with the highest representation from the South East, East of England and Scotland. 44% of companies on the programme have a female founder, almost double the representation of female tech directors (23%) in UK tech. 34% of companies are applying AI to the construction industry, while 28% are using AI to solve healthcare challenges.