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University of Bradford to launch AI startup hub

University of Bradford AI hub
Professor Zahir Irani deputy vice-chancellor, University of Bradford. Image credit: University of Bradford.

The University of Bradford is creating an AI hub focusing on transitioning university projects into spinouts.

Starting in September, the University of Bradford AI innovation hub will provide business resources to students such as legal responsibilities, pitching and financing.

Professor Zahir Irani, deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Bradford, said: “Our MSc programme has landed very well with students because we found lots of people who were interested in AI but didn’t have backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and maths.”

It expands on the University of Bradford’s MSc programme in Applied Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics.

So far the Northern university has received funding support of £2.8m, including £1.4m from the government, and has awarded 80 scholarships.

“In today’s fast-paced, data-driven, AI-powered world it’s imperative for graduates to understand the potential and limitations of emerging and potentially disruptive technologies,” said Dr Kamran Mahroof, Applied AI and Data Analytics programme lead at the University of Bradford.

The hub comes at an acceleration point for artificial intelligence, spurred by the release of advanced chatbots such as ChatGPT. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said he wants to make the UK a leader in AI, but last week cautioned that it requires safety “guardrails”.

Irani added: “AI is here to stay and as a society, we need to find the best way to leverage its potential to benefit the world through positive applications. We already have embedded ethics in our programme to ensure we develop conscientious graduates.”