Applegate awarded prestigious grant for Artificial Intelligence

Applegate has once again won grant funding from Innovate UK for our cutting-edge work in Artificial Intelligence.

In the most hotly contested competition the UK’s innovation agency has ever run 8,600 companies applied for a £40m fund established to support businesses delivering the innovation that will help us all surmount the challenges raised by the coronavirus pandemic.


The resulting project again sees Applegate partner with the brilliant team at the University of Exeter’s Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (IDSAI). The work provides a great example of the practical benefits to society of commerce and academia working together. At the start of April Applegate set up, using our existing technology in part developed through past collaboration with IDSAI, a free, non-commercial service to match demand and supply for items such as PPE, sanitiser and others needed to address the pandemic. This has succeeded in getting tens of millions of items to the frontline, often in cases where the purchaser had exhausted other options – and as a doctor put it to us, in some cases having the right PPE can be life and death. The Innovate UK grant will support us to develop our platform further, enabling it to cope with yet greater volumes so enabling us both to provide ongoing support through the current pandemic and also delivering a resilient tool to address supply chain disruptions caused by future crises – as well as benefiting our day to day operations.


Artificial Intelligence offers great benefit to humanity, automating manual tasks and enabling us to do things that were previously impractical due to the volume of effort required. As I type this to the accompaniment of sheep baa-ing outside my window, the lockdown also provides a great reminder that development of machine learning and many other new technologies can be done as effectively in a stunning rural setting as in the heart of a major city. A lasting impact of the pandemic may well be that more high-tech firms follow Applegate’s example and spread their wings to locations that allow the space to breathe, to think, to live. If they do, it will provide a great boost to ensuring the economy we rebuild will be more inclusive, spreading opportunities more widely across the land.

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