Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

Understanding AI R&D commercialisation

The UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and Office for Artificial Intelligence (OAI) commissioned Oxford Insights and partner Cambridge Econometrics to develop deeper understanding of the ways in which AI research & development is transformed into marketable AI products and services.

The resulting research explored the main enablers, barriers and challenges for AI commercialisation, looking closely at the work of university spinouts, startups, Big Tech firms, and also academic ‘founder-researchers’.

The project involved conducting over 40 interviews with varied respondents, including private venture capital lenders, public funding bodies like EPSRC, UKRI, and Innovate UK, Academics and Universities’ Technology Transfer Offices, Standards Developing Organisations like BSI, The Alan Turing Institute, the NHS Transformation Directorate, and several large tech companies such as Microsoft, Nvidia, BT Group, Siemens Digital, and DeepMind.

The research resulted in:

  • A taxonomy of commercialisation routes for AI R&D;
  • New metrics for measuring AI commercialisation activity in the UK;
  • A ‘deep dive’ study of four ‘priority routes’ of commercialisation;
  • International comparisons of AI commercialisation activity with the United States, Canada, China, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, and South Korea; and
  • A case study of applied AI in the healthcare and life sciences sector in the UK.

A key goal of the research was to help teams from across government, public funding bodies, universities’ technology transfer offices, industry and other associated organisations understand what steps can be taken to support and increase the commercialisation of AI R&D in the UK.

The final report was published in May 2022, and is available for download here.

Should you wish to get in touch to discuss this work, please contact:

Understanding UK AI R&D commercialisation and the role of standards (Full Report)

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