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Durham University

Durham University News

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Developed in Durham: Gliff.ai

(14 May 2021)

two people sitting at a desk

Founder Professor Boguslaw Obara and CEO Bill Shepherd

Developing world-class artificial intelligence for the medical, environmental and industrial sectors, Gliff.ai now employs 11 people after being launched as a spin-out from Durham University in 2018.

The locally based company was created by translating our academics’ world-class research in biomedical imaging analysis into a thriving spin-out business with the help of Northern Accelerator - an exciting collaboration between four North East universities to commercialise research and boost the region's economy.

The ecosystem of business support in the region has allowed the AI company to develop from a university spin-out into a thriving business.

Improving healthcare AI training

The AI company specialise in the analysis of imaging technology for X-rays, CT, and MRI scans. This has practical applications improving medical diagnostic equipment and detecting serious and life threatening conditions.

One of the key innovations of Gliff.ai’s bespoke technology solutions is simplifying the input of information required to train AI, speeding up the process and decreasing the time and costs. This is particularly important in a healthcare setting where clinicians are time-poor, and budgets are tight.

The organisation plans to double, possibly treble, its headcount in 2021 after recently securing its first clients – a large multi-national.

Northern Accelerator

Gliff.ai received support from Northern Accelerator's Executives into the Business programme, who provided them with their CEO Bill Shepherd – a tech entrepreneur with over 25 years’ experience growing early-stage technology businesses.

Since launching, Gliff.ai has benefited from two rounds of funding from Northern Accelerator and Innovate UK, totalling £800,000, and extensive support from Business Durham both in terms of their office space and signposting.

With an emerging tech sector in the North East, developing a vibrant skills base in the region is critical to growing our economy by creating high-value jobs in the way that Gliff.ai continues to do.

Find out more

Northern Accelerator brings together academics and business leaders, with a host of funding and support, to form sustainable businesses that create more and better jobs.

Enabled by £4.9m from Research England’s Connecting Capabilities Fund, Northern Accelerator builds upon two European Regional Development Fund programmes to embed entrepreneurial business leaders into university spin-outs at the earliest stage.