All posts tagged: 13.5M

South West wins share of £13.5m for engineering biology R&D projects

South West wins share of £13.5m for engineering biology R&D projects

New projects will use engineering biology to tackle challenges in the fields of health, environment, food production and sustainability. The £13.5 million funding is provided by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Technology Missions Fund and delivered by Innovate UK. The 48 projects cover a wide range of sectors and disciplines and involve private companies, academic institutions and partner bodies. One project is being led by Bristol-based Scarlet Therapeutics. Its UNIVERCell project is an engineered red blood cell line which could generate vastly improved methodologies for the production of red blood cells that can be engineered to treat many, currently poorly treated, human diseases. Based in Bristol, the science underpinning the company has previously been funded by: UKRI through the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Innovate UK, Wellcome Trust, the National Institute for Health and Care Research and NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT). Dr Kedar Pandya, UKRI Technology Missions Fund Senior Responsible Owner and Executive Director of Cross-Council Programmes at UKRI’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council [editor – that has to …

As Podcastle raises .5M, its founder credits AI-driven growth in Armenia’s ‘Mini-Silicon Valley’

As Podcastle raises $13.5M, its founder credits AI-driven growth in Armenia’s ‘Mini-Silicon Valley’

Podcastle, a podcasting platform that has boosted its product with various generative AI-driven features, has raised $13.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Mosaic Ventures. Also participating were existing Podcastle investors RTP Global, Point Nine Capital, Sierra Ventures, and Andrew Ng’s AI Fund. Squarespace CEO Anthony Casalena and Moonbug Media CEO René Rechtman also participated in the round. The platform now claims to have around a million creators using its tools, many of which have AI-driven features, although this figure has not been independently verified.  In a statement, Simon Levene, Co-founder and Partner of Mosaic Ventures commented: “Arto and the team at Podcastle have built a leading product, and are already showing signs of organic growth that we believe will only accelerate in the years ahead.” In a conversation with Arto Yeritsyan, Founder and CEO of Podcastle, told me: “Last summer we released podcasts for teams. So we’re moving from single-user experience to multiplayer experience. So this funding is aimed to scale that. We saw this scale with 10x growth last year. …

DeSantis $13.5m police program lures officers with violent records to Florida | Florida

Numerous police officers lured to new jobs in Florida with cash from Governor Ron DeSantis’s flagship law enforcement relocation program have histories of excessive violence or have been arrested for crimes including kidnapping and murder since signing up, a study of state documents has found. DeSantis, who is expected to launch his campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination this week, has spent more than $13.5m to date on the recruitment bonus program, which he touted in 2021 as an incentive to officers in other states frustrated by Covid-19 vaccination mandates. “This will go a long way to ensuring we can have the best and the brightest filling our law enforcement ranks,” Florida’s Republican attorney general, Ashley Moody, said in April last year as DeSantis announced one-time $5,000 bonuses for new recruits. However, among the almost 600 officers who moved to Florida and received the bonus – or were recruited in state – are a sizable number who either arrived with a range of complaints against them, or have since accrued criminal charges, the online …

Protect AI lands a .5M investment to harden AI projects from attack

Protect AI lands a $13.5M investment to harden AI projects from attack

Seeking to bring greater security to AI systems, Protect AI today raised $13.5 million in a seed-funding round co-led by Acrew Capital and Boldstart Ventures with participation from Knollwood Capital, Pelion Ventures and Aviso Ventures. Ian Swanson, the co-founder and CEO, said that the capital will be put toward product development and customer outreach as Protect AI emerges from stealth. Protect AI claims to be one of the few security companies focused entirely on developing tools to defend AI systems and machine learning models from exploits. Its product suite aims to help developers identify and fix AI and machine learning security vulnerabilities at various stages of the machine learning life cycle, Swanson explains, including vulnerabilities that could expose sensitive data. “As machine learning models usage grows exponentially in production use cases, we see AI builders needing products and solutions to make AI systems more secure, while recognizing the unique needs and threats surrounding machine learning code,” Swanson told TechCrunch in an email interview. “We have researched and uncovered unique exploits and provide tools to reduce …