Artificial intelligence company Signal Media have been awarded their second Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the University of Essex, enabling them to disrupt the UK media monitoring market.
Run by Innovate UK, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are part-government-funded project-based collaborations between universities and businesses created to help UK companies innovate and grow. Projects are designed to address a specific challenge or business need and give companies access to academic expertise and a grant of up to two-thirds of the project cost.
The focus of this latest KTP project between Signal Media and the University of Essex is to develop new techniques to extract and visualise insights from unstructured text files, instantly converting large volumes of data into engaging and easily digestible presentation formats. A postgraduate, who will act as the research associate and project manager, is in the process of being hired and the project is set to kick-off in Q3 2018 and run for 18 months.
Professor Udo Kruschwitz, from the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at Essex, will be the Academic Lead. He said: ‚ÄúOur first KTP project has laid the groundwork for automatically processing, classifying and linking textual documents, and has evidently done so very successfully. We are now at a point where we will be moving from knowledge extraction to actual knowledge understanding and visualisation. It is exciting to see this new phase of our collaboration unfolding.”
This is the second KTP between the University of Essex and Signal Media, the first one in 2015 helped the company secure investment of over ¬£5.8m. This played a pivotal and transformative role in the development of Signal‚Äôs AI-powered media monitoring capabilities as well as the company‚Äôs growth. Utilising the university‚Äôs expertise in natural language engineering, Signal created techniques to retrieve, clean and analyse vast data sets consisting of millions of pieces of media content.
Rob Walker, KTP Manager for this project from the University of Essex, said: ‚ÄúSignal has grown into a fantastic business, in an area of AI which is well-aligned to our research. In an era of fast news, fake news and ever-increasing demands on business to keep up with opinion; Signal Media offer an innovative solution using exceptionally developed technology. We are proud to continue our partnership with them into a second KTP, and are grateful to Innovate UK for sharing our vision for supporting innovation in this area.‚Äù
Building upon this capability, Signal now offers hyper-relevant, near real-time access to the world‚Äôs news disrupting the UK media monitoring market and paving the way to further development of their product to support additional use cases. In fact, the partnership proved so successful that the graduate hired as the first KTP associate, Dr Miguel Martinez, is now co-founder and head of research at Signal Media. The collaboration was acknowledged with an award for Best Partnership at the KTP awards at the 2015 Innovate UK conference.
Dr Miguel Martinez, Co-founder and Head of Research at Signal Media said: ‚ÄúThe KTP programme is one of the hidden gems of the innovation and business ecosystem in the UK government and I am looking forward to seeing the innovation that arises from our new collaboration with the University of Essex.‚Äù