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Innovation Hub to Transform Welsh SMEs with AI

23 May 2019

Woman working on laptop at Airbus

Welsh businesses will benefit from the launch of a new data science innovation hub to drive cutting edge methods into new products and services. The Data Innovation Accelerator (DIA) will respond to demand from Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) who have ambitions to integrate AI into the heart of their business but lack data science expertise to help them grow.

Funded by £1.8m from the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government, the DIA offers knowledge exchange and expertise from leading international researchers that will underpin the rapid development of new ideas on how best to utilise data within companies’ day-to-day operations.

SMEs seeking ways of innovating with data and AI are welcome to attend the DIA’s evening launch event on 18 June.

“It’s an immensely exciting initiative that’s driven by demand,” said the DIA’s co-directors, Professors Roger Whitaker and Pete Burnap.

“The accelerator concept was developed after we started to receive a growing number of queries from businesses asking us how they could use their data to develop new ways of working.

“Our vision is to contribute to business strength in Wales through data science. We want to inspire small companies to integrate data modelling, engineering and analysis into their practices. We’re urging companies to act now – we have funding until August 2021.”

The DIA’s collaborative rapid prototyping with SMEs has defined aims - for example, to explore the insights in existing data sets to help unlock a new product or service to market – and can facilitate access to additional partners with leading expertise and knowledge.

A number of Welsh SMEs are already embracing Cardiff’s expertise.

Chrissy Woodman, Director of Cardiff-based Sustainable Energy Ltd, said: "We are currently working with the Data Innovation Accelerator and benefitting from their data skills and knowledge to help us to develop our smart city energy network solutions."

The DIA works collaboratively with SMEs in the ‘East Wales’ region, covering Cardiff, Newport, the Vale of Glamorgan, Monmouthshire, Powys, Wrexham and Flintshire.

Bringing together a range of speakers from SMEs, Welsh and UK Government and Cardiff University, the invitation-only event runs from 5.30pm to 7.30pm on Tuesday 18 June at Milk & Sugar, The Old Library, The Hayes, Cardiff. CF10 1BH.

Spaces are limited. To book your place, contact

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