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New £1m Manchester prize aims to promote AI innovation

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Ten UK teams have been named finalists for the inaugural Manchester Prize, which was announced last week by the Prime Minister at the AI Seoul Summit.

Each team will receive part of a £1 million fund to develop AI solutions over the next eight months, focusing on energy, environment, and infrastructure. Their projects include AI for solar energy integration, climate-resilient crop traits, waste flow analytics, and advanced battery manufacturing.

Following the announcement, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt emphasized the AI sector’s growth potential, with AI expected to significantly boost the UK economy. He called the prize “one of the best investments we can make.”

Dr. Hayaatun Sillem of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a judge for the prize, noted the challenge of selecting finalists from a diverse pool of innovative applications.

The finalists were selected from nearly 300 entries and will each receive £100,000 plus additional support to refine their projects. This initiative underscores AI’s role in economic growth, projected to add £400 billion to the UK economy by 2030. The AI sector already employs over 50,000 people, with rapid market growth expected.

The ten finalists are now in pursuit of a final £1 million grand prize that will be awarded in spring 2025.

More information can be found at https://manchesterprize.org

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