NEWS6 November 2023

UKRI invests £117m in AI doctoral training

AI News Public Sector UK

UK – UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has provided funding of £117m for 12 centres for doctoral training (CDTs) in artificial intelligence (AI) at 16 universities.

University graduates

The CDTs will help doctoral students develop AI in areas such as healthcare, agriculture, environmental sustainability and the media, and builds on previous UKRI investment of £100m announced in 2018.

Universities involved in the AI CDTs include Heriot-Watt University, University of Edinburgh, Imperial College London, Northumbria University, University of Bristol, University of Lincoln, University of Aberdeen, University of Strathclyde, Queen’s University Belfast, University of Manchester, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, University of Southampton, University of Surrey, University of York and Royal Holloway, University of London.

The first cohort of AI CDT students will start in the 2024 to 2025 academic year, recruitment for which will begin shortly.

UKRI chief executive Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser said: “The UK is in a strong position to harness the power of AI to transform many aspects of our lives for the better.

“Crucial to this endeavour is nurturing the talented people and teams we need to apply AI to a broad spectrum of challenges, from healthy ageing to sustainable agriculture, ensuring its responsible and trustworthy adoption.”

Secretary of state for science, innovation and technology Michelle Donelan said: “The UK is at the very front of the global race to turn AI’s awesome potential into a giant leap forward for people’s quality of life and productivity at work, all while ensuring this technology works safely, ethically and responsibly.

“The plans we are announcing will future-proof our nation’s skills base, meaning we can reap the benefits of AI as it continues to develop. At the same time, we are taking the first steps to put the power of this technology to work, for good, across government and society.”