The University of Manchester has signed a strategic deal with Finland’s Aalto University to further the use of artificial intelligence in the health sector.
It is claimed the deal, which will see Aalto’s AI expertise combined with UM strengths in data science, will accelerate vital research and development in data-driven healthcare and related areas.
The collaboration will apply joint expertise to the use of AI and machine learning in the medical sector.
In Manchester, the work will be focused around the existing Christabel Pankhurst Institute for Health Technology, which plays a key role in pulling innovations through from basic research to market ready products and services.
These can then be accelerated into clinical use through Greater Manchester’s devolved health and care system and established innovation pathway.
The alliance also supports the activities of the Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence (FCAI), coordinated by Aalto. UM is a member organisation of the Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national centre for data science and AI.
As a part of the agreement, Aalto’s professor of computer science, Samuel Kaski has joined UM as part of a shared professorship.
He will become the director of the Christabel Pankhurst Institute for Health Technology, responsible in particular of AI, although Kaski will continue his work as director of the Artificial Intelligence Center of Finland and will remain as academy professor until the end of the current transition year.
Professor Kaski said: “My main task will be to set up a strong AI Center in Manchester, and the Pankhurst Institute will give unique opportunities for machine learners interested in working in medicine and health. That is what caught my attention. But there will certainly be opportunities in fundamental AI research as well.
“The mission of the whole institute is even broader of course, and many contributors are needed and welcome. I am very glad to see a number of excellent people already engaged.”