Kaiasm, the Somerset-based data science company, has been awarded nearly £350,000 (£348,760) in UK Smart Grant government funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.
The grant will help fund Kaiasm’s £500k project to develop a large-scale prototype of a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tool designed to help transform complex national infrastructure data into AI-ready, interoperable frameworks.
The new tooling, called OntoKai (a combination of “ontology” and “Kaiasm”), will improve performance, profitability and efficiencies of national infrastructure agencies, whilst lowering risk. Designed to be accessible to non-knowledge-management specialists, the prototype will allow agencies to identify gaps and overlaps within their own organisation and across agencies. Currently, this is all a challenge for national agencies, whose data is rarely AI-ready. Instead, poorly understood, separate systems are unable to communicate efficiently with each other.
Based on the prototype, Kaiasm’s project team will develop a demonstration model using real data. This will allow organisations to easily understand the commercial value of joining datasets together, standardising ontologies and filling the gaps in those ontologies.
The day-to-day benefits for projects and operations are extensive. For example, in the event of a river flood, the Environment Agency, National Highways, energy companies and local authorities would immediately be able to find and share the same related, trustworthy data. This would significantly speed up operations by allowing staff to resolve problems more quickly and safely, and communicate reliable and useful information to motorists, residents and businesses. The same tool will significantly improve project planning and management, such as for road maintenance or construction.
Liam McGee, Kaiasm’s co-founder and chief scientist leading the project, said: “We’re very pleased that the Innovate UK Smart Grant has allowed us to create more jobs in rural Frome and Somerset, helping the next generation into the tech industry.
“And for organisations across the UK, the opportunity for this breakthrough technology to increase productivity and reduce costs is enormous. The prototype has applications across industries, bridging the gap between construction and operational management of physical infrastructures such as energy, water, environment, road and rail.”