Tech firm Factor AI receives funding to support AI development

Tech firm FactorAI has been awarded funding to support further product development of its artificial intelligence (AI) enabled real time sensor which aims to make the formulated products industry more sustainable.

Dr Jujar Singh Panesar (left) and Dr Andrea De Santis of Factor AI.

Formulated products include shampoos, moisturising creams and toothpastes, which are composed of at least two ingredients.

Leeds-based FactorAI embed AI enabled sensors in factories that manufacture formulated products, allowing manufacturers to combine real time data capabilities with artificial intelligence to help them innovate quicker and reduce waste. The funding from InnovateUK’s SBRI Sustainable Innovation Fund will support FactorAI in its development of its proof-of-concept solution to enable the formulated products industry to manufacture products sustainably.

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The business was founded by Dr Jujar Singh Panesar and Dr Andrea De Santis.

Dr Singh said: “Most of these products are manufactured in batches in industrial mixers; the ingredients are pumped or poured into the mixer; and they are mixed and combined to form the finished product.

“In this project we develop a solution to retrofit an innovative sensor inside industrial mixers, thereby digitising them. The sensor outputs real time quality data during the manufacture of formulated products and uses artificial intelligence to increase the sustainability of the industry enabling reduced manufacturing times, identifying problematic ingredients and helping the industry to attain higher levels of compliance, traceability and sustainability.”

Factor AI is part of the NatWest Accelerator programme in Leeds. An entirely digital proposition of the Accelerator was developed and launched following the Covid-19 outbreak earlier this year which includes workshops, mentoring and other resources which are provided through an online portal.

Dr De Santis said: “On the NatWest Accelerator, we have benefited from a fantastic start-up ecosystem which is directly correlated to our success on the InnovateUK SBRI Project.

“We are collaborating with Just Lovett Design, a fellow NatWest Accelerator business, which is suppling FactorAI with precision laser manufactured parts for our test rig that forms a part of our proof-of-concept study on the InnovateUK SBRI Sustainable Innovation project.

“Being part of the NatWest Accelerator, and working with multinational formulated products companies and Just Lovett Design is a key driver in the growth of FactorAI.”

Nick McCafferty, entrepreneur acceleration manager at NatWest, added: “Congratulations to FactorAI on the award from the InnovateUK SBRI Sustainable Innovation Fund which will enable the tech firm to develop its innovative product even further. FactorAI is a great example of the collaboration efforts we see from businesses on the programme as we know collaboration is vital to many SME’s successes.”