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Data science firm Bellrock secures GCHQ mentoring


Bellrock founders Stephen McArthur and Adam Brown (pic: Terry Murden)

Scottish data science firm Bellrock Technology is one of just 10 UK startups selected to join intelligence agency GCHQ’s  mentoring programme.

The secretive security organisation will provide the tech firms with advice on using AI, data science and machine-learning.

Companies that will benefit from the 12-week support programme, based out of GCHQ’s Manchester office, include firms which use: AI to alert haulage companies to stowaways in their containers, data to determine how busy trains are to manage social distancing and AI and machine-learning to identify and prevent the spread of fake news.

The start-ups will have unique access to GCHQ technologists and industry experts to improve their products, receive business mentoring. They will then have the chance to showcase their products to a panel made up of industry leaders and investors at the end of the scheme.

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A GCHQ spokesperson said: “We’re pioneering a new kind of security for an ever more complex world and businesses can play their part in helping to keep the UK safe.

“This 12-week programme will give these companies, using cutting edge tech, unique access to GCHQ technologists to help hone their products – from helping to prevent the spread of fake news to countering people trafficking.”

The GCHQ Innovation Co-Lab is a joint venture with The Landing, a tech mentorship hub based in MediaCityUK in Greater Manchester and global tech accelerator UP Ventures.

Glasgow-based Bellrock Technology chief executive Adam Brown, said: “It is an incredible opportunity for us.

“Our selection is a huge boost to Bellrock Technology and a vote of confidence for the unique approach the company offers in delivering data analytics through our Lumen software.”

The full list of companies which will receive mentorship from GCHQ technologists, based out of its new city centre Manchester offices, are:

  • Emu Analytics: This innovative platform is able to analyse and visualise real-time geospatial data to help create smart cities. 
  • Geollect: Wading through open-source data, this platform uses AI and machine learning to identify and geolocate fake news and misinformation; pinpointing the source and understanding its spread and proliferation.
  • Journey Protector: A black box that assists logistics and border security by monitoring the conditions inside the vehicles, analyses the data using artificial intelligence and issuing alerts as required in order to prevent driver collusion in people trafficking and cargo theft.
  • Data Value Factory: Data preparation is traditionally a necessary but laborious process. This solution cleans up the content at lightning speed, freeing up to 80% more time for data scientists.
  • Bellrock Technology: Turns data science models into real world business applications 
  • Exlnsight: Exlsight is an information collection, collation and analytics platform.
  • Kraken IM: An information management company that helps secure complicated supply chains through digitisation.
  • Behavioural Insights Team:  Applies behavioural insights to inform policy, improve public services and deliver positive results for people and communities
  • Waymark: Uses natural language processing and machine learning to help firms meet legislative and regulatory obligations in a fast and reliable format.
  • Spotlight Data: Spotlight Data aims to shine a light on unstructured data for organisations. Using their Nanowire data intelligence platform they will ingest, process and analyse data in order to inform company decision-making.

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