Turing Innovation Catalyst launches to supercharge Manchester’s AI ecosystem

A new non-profit organisation, Turing Innovation Catalyst, has celebrated its launch in Greater Manchester, as it looks to supercharge the region’s growing AI sector, creating an ecosystem and cementing the area as a leading hub of business growth, talent, skills, and research. 

Turing Innovation Catalyst (TIC), part of the Greater Manchester Innovation Accelerator – one of three pilot projects in the UK – was created in a joint venture with ID Manchester as a new, standalone organisation to accelerate AI talent, drive research and development, and create skills programmes. The organisation is being incubated within The University of Manchester for a period of 18 months. 

At the standing-room only launch event at SciTech Bruntwood’s No.1 Circle Square, TIC director, Liz Scott MBE, formerly of Tech Nation, unveiled an ambitious foundational programme of work, including an accelerator for AI startups, and a PhD venture builder to equip research talent with the skills to commercialise their innovations. 

A collaborative research and development offering is also being set up, in partnership with local experts, alongside skills programmes to improve access to careers in AI for women and underrepresented groups.  

Based at the heart of ID Manchester upon its completion, TIC will also operate from hubs across the wider Greater Manchester region, with the first set to launch next month in Rochdale.

The launch event was supported by an address from Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Dame Angela McLean, who outlined how important TIC’s mission of building an AI ecosystem in Manchester is to the wider science and tech community, in line with the Government’s innovation strategy. Two expert panels of business owners and industry veterans explored the topics of scaling an AI business and building the talent pipeline. 

Liz Scott MBE, Director at Turing Innovation Catalyst, said: 

“We’ve been working behind the scenes to set up our foundational programme for the Turing Innovation Catalyst, and we’re delighted to finally launch it. TIC is all about leveraging the incredible talent in Manchester’s innovation sector and building it up to drive us forward. AI is part of so many conversations at the moment, and the opportunities out there are monumental.  

“We’re delighted to be working with so many remarkable partners through our work, and there are lots of ways to get involved with the programme. We’ve already started to do some great things, including recruiting the first cohort for our venture builder, and the future is truly bright for Manchester’s AI sector.” 

Richard Potter, Co-Founder and CEO at Peak, added: 

“The Turing Innovation Catalyst has launched at a pivotal time for the AI and innovation sector, and I’m delighted to be part of TIC’s advisory board at this exciting time.

“Greater Manchester has some significant competitive advantages that our tech community can build upon to accelerate our AI ecosystem and support our ambitions of competing as a global city - and TIC will have a key role to play in that.”

The first of the TIC skills programmes are now live, with the first cohort from the venture builder set to graduate in the next month. For upcoming events and ways to get involved, you can register your interest on the TIC website: www.ticmanchester.org 

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