Vet-tech start-up, Vet-AI, has formed a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with University of Leeds academics to revolutionise the pet healthcare industry.
The KTP – a collaboration between academia and industry created to solve a strategic business challenge through expertise and new thinking – will bring world-leading Artificial Intelligence experts in image analysis, Professor David Hogg and Dr Derek Magee, from the University’s School of Computing to supervise a ground-breaking new project. A full-time KTP Associate will be appointed to work alongside the Vet-AI team based at Nexus, the University’s innovation hub.
Vet-AI launched its flagship app – Joii – earlier this year and has now received grant funding from Innovate UK for this KTP to bring in the academic expertise to enhance the customer experience. Using video-based machine learning models, the new feature will enable pet owners to use the video camera on their smartphone to detect gait abnormalities, such as arthritis and hip dysplasia.
Paul Hallett, co-founder of Vet-AI, said: “Our KTP Associate will work closely with our software development team as well as our clinical team of vets and vet nurses, as part of a multi-disciplinary partnership, focused on developing the diagnosis, instructions and advice elements of our product.
“Our move to Nexus was driven by our desire to collaborate with academic minds at the University of Leeds to overcome complex challenges and grow our platform’s technology. This partnership clearly vindicates that decision and we’re delighted to be working with world leading tech experts as we move into a new phase of AI development.”
Dr Martin Stow, Nexus Director, added: “Vet-AI’s KTP is a true meeting of minds between academia and industry. It’s a great example of the deep and long-term collaborations we can facilitate between the University and Nexus members, to power innovation and increase competitiveness. As leading disruptors in the vet-tech industry, Vet-AI has already enjoyed rapid growth this year and with the support of its new KTP colleagues, I’m excited to see where the company will go next.”
Ian Blakemore, Knowledge Transfer Adviser at the Knowledge Transfer Network (one of the delivery partners of the KTP programme) added: “‘Vet-AI are one of several micro SMEs based at Nexus using a KTP as part of their ambitious scale-up and development plans. The close proximity of the business to the heart of the university makes collaborative working part of ‘business as usual’, rather than something else which needs to be managed. The project with Vet-AI is at an early stage, however it is already showing signs of success”.
This successful Knowledge Transfer Partnership project, funded by UK Research and Innovation through Innovate UK, is part of the government’s Industrial Strategy.