GCHQ reveals 10 starts ups for 12 week mentoring course

GCHQ Gloucestershire

An Oxfordshire-based tech company is one of just ten which has been selected by the UK’s intelligence, security and cyber agency for a special 12-week mentoring programme.

Cheltenham-headquartered GCHQ has announced it will mentor 10 tech start-ups using AI, data science and machine-learning to help keep people safe.

Companies selected to benefit from the 12-week support programme, based out of GCHQ’s recently-opened Manchester office, include firms which use AI to alert haulage companies to stowaways in their containers, data to determine how busy trains are to manage social distancing and AI and machine-learning to identify and prevent the spread of fake news.

Waymark: based in Thame, Oxfordshire uses natural language processing and machine learning to help firms meet legislative and regulatory obligations in a fast and reliable format.

All ten start-ups will have unique access to GCHQ technologists and industry experts to improve their products, receive business mentoring. They will then have the chance to showcase their products to a panel made up of industry leaders and investors at the end of the 12-week scheme.

A GCHQ spokesperson said: “We’re pioneering a new kind of security for an ever more complex world and businesses can play their part in helping to keep the UK safe.

“This 12-week programme will give these companies, using cutting edge tech, unique access to GCHQ technologists to help hone their products – from helping to prevent the spread of fake news to countering people trafficking.”

The GCHQ Innovation Co-Lab is a joint venture with The Landing, a tech mentorship hub based in MediaCityUK in Greater Manchester and global tech accelerator UP Ventures.

The other nine companies which will receive mentorship from GCHQ technologists are:

  • Emu Analytics: This London-based innovative platform is able to analyse and visualise real-time geospatial data to help create smart cities.
  • Geollect: Based in Bristol, wading through open-source data, this platform uses AI and machine learning to identify and geolocate fake news and misinformation; pinpointing the source and understanding its spread and proliferation.
  • Journey Protector: A black box that assists logistics and border security by monitoring the conditions inside the vehicles, analyses the data using artificial intelligence and issuing alerts as required in order to prevent driver collusion in people trafficking and cargo theft. The company is based in Dublin
  • Data Value Factory: Data preparation is traditionally a necessary but laborious process. This Manchester-based solution cleans up the content at lightning speed, freeing up to 80% more time for data scientists.
  • Bellrock: This Glasgow-based business turns data science models into real world business applications
  • Exlnsight: Exlsight is a London-based information collection, collation and analytics platform.
  • Kraken IM: A Middlesborough-based information management company that helps secure complicated supply chains through digitisation.
  • Behavioural Insights Team:  This  London based company applies behavioural insights to inform policy, improve public services and deliver positive results for people and communities
  • Spotlight Data: Spotlight Data, based in Nottingham, aims to shine a light on unstructured data for organisations. Using their Nanowire data intelligence platform they will ingest, process and analyse data in order to inform company decision-making.

In August GCHQ launched a prestigious fellowship scheme to research national security priorities such as deep fakes, fake news and AI.  The partnership programme offers applicants from academia, science and industry the opportunity to work with GCHQ on some of the trickiest technology challenges. By engaging with a GCHQ mentor, it is hoped that participants can develop cutting-edge techniques which support national security priorities and help keep the country safe.