Investment enables innovative Durham AI company to expand
Durham based gliff.ai has received another round of investment from funds managed by Northstar Ventures, the North East Innovation Fund supported by the European Regional Development Fund and the newly launched Norther Accelerator Seed Investment Fund (NASIF).
The £375,000 investment means the company, which develops tools to support the creation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for healthcare and life science applications, can expand its team to a total of ten employees, including seven PhDs.
gliff.ai is a spin-out from Durham University’s computing department. The company, previously called Intogral Ltd, originally concentrated on developing its own medical diagnostic products using AI but this latest investment allows the business to expand further into the leading edge of Data Science. The company’s plans are to double in size every year with the ambition to recruit and retain the best graduates from across the North East Region and internationally.
Bill Shepherd gliff.ai’s CEO said,
“We are absolutely delighted that our Durham company can continue to grow at the global leading edge of technology innovation. The world is becoming more and more reliant upon artificial intelligence. AI is only as good as the data that is used to create it. Our products will make AI safer and easier to use.”
Rick Charnley, Northstar Ventures Investment Manager said, “We’ve been impressed by the team and the vision since their launch in 2018 and are pleased to continue to support their exciting growth with more investment from the North East Investment Fund and NASIF. The NASIF is aimed at showcasing and supporting the high quality companies spun out of North East universities and gliff.ai is a brilliant example of how innovative spin outs can expand globally while based here and providing quality jobs in the North East.”
gliff.ai’s mission is to enable the best imaging AI possible by providing tools for high-quality data curation, annotation and audit, and to deliver the best quality training data for AI models, so creating the best quality AI.
The Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution offers amazing opportunities in a vast number of sectors; from medicine and bioscience to engineering, finance and the environment. Supervised AI attempts to learn the skill of a human expert by copying examples of the expert’s actions, known as data annotations or labeling. AI shares some features with classical computing, the most important being that the quality of the outcome is only as good as the data used to create it.
gliff.ai’s speciality is the analysis of biomedical images such as x-ray, CT, MRI or cell cultures. Based upon decades of work done at Durham University (UK), with research led by Dr Boguslaw Obara, a recognised expert in the field, gliff.ai’s products ensure the best quality data is used in the preparation of AI.
About Northstar Ventures Limited
Northstar Ventures is a venture capital and social investment firm based in the North East. We provide funding for innovative, scalable businesses and high impact social enterprises. We’ve been supporting entrepreneurs since 2004, seeking out strong teams with great ideas that will drive high growth, scalable businesses, and sustainable charities.As the North East’s leading early stage investor, we have invested over £100m into start-ups, early stage businesses and high impact social enterprises in the region. Our investment managers have a wealth of experience supporting new and growing businesses and bring commercial and operational experience, PhDs and MBAs, international careers and even a micro-business or two.
About The North East Fund
The North East Fund is a suite five venture capital and loan funds which was established in April 2018, to invest £120m in around 600 North East businesses in the period to March 2023. The fund managers provide business development advice and investment finance to small and medium sized enterprises based in the seven Local Authority areas of North East England: Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle, South Tyneside, Gateshead Sunderland and County Durham. The programme encourages investment in and the commercialisation of new technologies, including low carbon technologies, as well as stimulating new business creation, private investment and entrepreneurialism in the North East, with a view to creating over 2,500 new jobs. The North East Fund has overall responsibility for the programme, which is delivered through five separate funds, each managed by independent, FCA regulated fund managers. Details of these, and up to date information on the progress of the programme, is available on The North East Fund’s website: www.northeastfund.org
The North East Fund has been established with funding from the North East of England European Regional Development Fund programme, the European Investment Bank and from returns on previous North East based, publicly supported investment funds. It is jointly owned by the seven North East local authorities
About the European Regional Development Fund
The North East Fund will receive up to £58,500,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
About the European Investment Bank
The European Investment Bank (EIB) will lend up to £60,000,000 to the North East Fund programme. The European Investment Bank is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. For more information, visit: http://www.eib.org/about/index.htm