UK could transform cancer treatment with £20m boost for AI research


The Turing AI Acceleration Fellowships is allocating £20m in funding to 15 of the UK’s top Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovators in a bid to push groundbreaking research that could help transform medical diagnosis.

Science Minister, Amanda Solloway said: “The UK is the birthplace of Artificial Intelligence and we have a duty to equip the next generation of Alan Turings with the tools that will keep the UK at the forefront of this remarkable technological innovation. The inspirational fellows we are backing today will use AI to tackle some of our greatest challenges head on, transforming how people live, work and communicate, cementing the UK’s status as a world leader in AI and data.”

Innovating cancer diagnosis and treatment with AI

Some of the projects include University of Manchester research, which is looking to discover if people have cancer before it forms in the body, as well as the development of an “AI clinical colleague” that could further support doctors by recommending the most effective drug prescriptions and doses for patients.

The University of Manchester research, led by Professor Christopher Yau, will be utilising s AI h to try and help clinicians to track cancer more accurately and help them decide much earlier what treatments patients require.

Digital Minister, Caroline Dinenage, said: “The UK is a nation of innovators and this government investment will help our talented academics use cutting-edge technology to improve people’s daily lives – from delivering better disease diagnosis to managing our energy needs.

“The fellowships form part of a major government investment in AI skills and research, including 16 Centres for Doctoral Training in AI and conversion courses to train the next generation of AI experts, announced by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson in October 2019.”

EPSRC Executive Chair Professor Dame Lynn Gladden added: “The Turing AI Acceleration Fellowships will support some of our leading researchers to progress their careers and develop ground-breaking AI technologies with societal impact. By enhancing collaboration between academia and industry and accelerating these transformative technologies they will help to maintain and build on the UK’s position as a world leader in AI.”

The £20m fellowship scheme will be delivered by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), in partnership with the Alan Turing Institute and Office for Artificial Intelligence.