KQ Labs, the new accelerator focused on data-driven health, run by the Francis Crick Institute, officially launches today. The aim of the launch event is to introduce the 10 start-ups selected for the first cohort, who are working at the interface of biomedical and data science.
A large number of high quality applications for the programme were received, from which 20 start-ups were selected for interview, with the top 10 invited to join the first cohort of KQ Labs.
The participating companies are working on a wide range of subjects including personalised medicine, imaging and improved diagnosis across diverse therapeutic areas including cancer, diabetes, rare diseases and ophthalmology, as well as management and interrogation of massive quantities of scientific data.
The 10 selected start-ups will now go through the 16-week KQ Labs accelerator programme, funded by Innovate UK and run by the Francis Crick Institute, which will provide a customised framework, with mentoring and coaching delivered by the KQ Academy on specific aspects relevant to data-driven health as well as business building more generally, to prepare them for future investment.
The programme is aimed at nurturing the next generation of start-ups and providing training in transferable skills to create future digital health leaders.
The accelerator is supported by an investment of £400,000 from Innovate UK. Each start-up will receive £40,000 to drive forward their business proposals and supports the government’s modern Industrial Strategy that embraces emerging technology to transform industries and increase productivity, create new highly skilled jobs and improve living standards.
The programme is called KQ Labs to represent the ‘Knowledge Quarter’ area around King’s Cross, Euston and Bloomsbury. The Crick sits at the centre of a data science ecosystem including the Alan Turing Institute, Google Deepmind, Benevolent AI, the British Library and others. The Crick itself is a hub for biomedical science, while leading edge design is represented by Central Saint Martins.
Veronique Birault, Head of Translation at the Crick, said: “This is the start of a very exciting journey for the ten start-ups, and also a great contribution towards building the ecosystem for data-driven health in the Kings Cross area”.
Chris Sawyer Innovation Lead, Digital Health at Innovate UK, said: “The start-ups all have the potential to make an impact on global health outcomes and will have access to unrivalled support and resources. These ventures will help shape the future of health in a sector that is vital part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy.”