Artificial intelligence funding in first half surpasses 2018 record

Investment in artificial intelligence (AI) reached an all-time high in the first six months of 2019, as it was revealed that a Glasgow brain tumour detection firm will feature in the UK’s first AI scale-up programme.

The UK is currently third globally for raising investment in AI, behind China and the US. Picture: Neil Hanna

AI funding for UK firms reached more than $1 billion (£810 million) in the first half, already surpassing 2018’s 12-month total, according to entrepreneur network Tech Nation.

It comes as the entrepreneur network unveiled the 29 firms accepted onto the UK’s inaugural applied AI growth programme. The cohort includes Glasgow-based ClinSpec DX, which uses AI to provide cost-effective blood tests for the early detection of brain tumours.

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The UK is currently third globally for raising investment in AI, behind China and the US, and has the second-highest number of AI companies in operation.

Tech Nation chief Gerard Grech said: “The UK could not be building a stronger and more diverse network of AI excellence at this important time of technology development.”

Matthew Baker, chief scientific officer at ClinSpec Dx, added: “ClinSpec Dx are excited to be part of the first growth programme supporting founders of impactful AI-focused companies to tackle real world problems such as our worlds first cost-effective blood test for the triage of brain tumours.

"Glasgow is a real hub for innovation and entrepreneurship with ClinSpec Dx based in the Technology and Innovation Centre, part of the Glasgow City Innovation District at the University of Strathclyde.

"Data will drive Scotland’s next economic revolution. We are keen to immerse ourselves in the Tech Nation programme to harness our data for the benefit of patients not only in Scotland but globally."