AI Foundry

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Supporting businesses to use AI & data science for innovation & Growth – at no cost!


The AI Foundry, was a research and innovation initiative, aimed at supporting SMEs in Greater Manchester in harnessing Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The CSI’s extensive experience in consortium projects, such as the Greater Manchester AI Foundry, has significantly impacted the digital landscape of the NW region and beyond.

Leveraging this project, the University and by extension the CSI’s AI and Data Science expertise have been instrumental in various aspects.

Benefits and Impact

This includes enhancing business engagement by raising awareness among decision-makers about the advantages of AI and Data Science.

The Business Strategy Programme provided a needs-based assessment, fostering the optimal utilization of current and emerging AI research. Additionally, SMEs benefited from workshops on innovation and a technical support program that facilitated the development of new products or services.

Through such initiatives, the CSI has demonstrated its proficiency in transforming the digital landscape and driving innovation in the NW region

Email us to find out more.

Case Studies:

Nationwide Vehicle Contacts

Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, a prominent UK car and van leasing provider since 2002, has assisted over 135,000 customers. Committed to innovation and customer-centricity, the company holds core values of competitiveness, innovation, expertise, and growth. Participating in the GM AI Foundry program, they gained a comprehensive AI overview, enhancing skills through insightful online workshops and expert talks, notably on chatbots. This investment in professional development equipped them to navigate the dynamic AI landscape. The technical assistance further turned AI concepts into a reality, transforming the business with improved customer satisfaction and internal efficiency. The program’s impact is evident in their recognition with the “Best Innovation in Broking” award for their AI tool, showcasing the transformative power of the GM AI Foundry. Nationwide Vehicle Contracts encourages businesses to embrace funded opportunities for upskilling and not to fear AI, emphasizing its potential for driving innovation and improving efficiency.

Their partnership with universities provided access to top AI minds, offering valuable insights and guidance during the development of their AI tool.


Mindsum, a transformative social enterprise in mental healthcare for children and young people, has significantly benefited from the GM AI Foundry program, facilitated by the University of Salford. Their platform,, simplifies the search for mental health resources, offering credible information, connecting users with professionals, and providing self-help tools. Participating in the AI Foundry program, Mindsum found it extremely informative, covering a broad range of AI topics. The interactive course facilitated thinking outside the box and exploring new possibilities for their organisation. The technical assistance received enabled Mindsum to develop a tool using Machine Learning for real-time analysis of client conversations, leading to improved diagnosis recommendations within their web application. The program has empowered Mindsum to roll out a new AI conversational bot, and they have already sent over 17,000 messages of support, showcasing the immediate impact. Mindsum recommends the GM AI Foundry for its valuable insights, comprehensive coverage, and suitability for businesses new to the field.

The partnership with universities provided research collaboration and expert advice, elevating the development of new technologies. Mindsum, as a nonprofit, seeks pro-bono advice and technical assistance to enhance its platform and services further.


Participating in the GM AI Foundry program has been instrumental for Cosmient, a company dedicated to executing its transformative vision. The high-quality advice and assistance received at a crucial juncture allowed significant progress in addressing complex elements of their product, akin to possessing a time machine. The course has personally supported the founder, acknowledging the challenges of starting a company and the limited resources. Being on the course and receiving technical assistance has made Cosmient investor-ready, instilling confidence and aiding the company in becoming more commercially viable. The collaboration with the University of Salford provided an expert evaluation, resulting in a feasible solution that can be expanded into a commercial product. The program not only accelerated feature development but also brought recognition and kudos to Cosmient. The successes include a fully financed nine-month internship from the University of Manchester, an opportunity to pitch to investors at Zebox, and the launch of a new technology on the Shopify platform, allowing products to engage in social and engaging conversations with customers. Cosmient advises other small to medium-sized businesses to explore AI, recognising its applicability to specific problems.

The best thing about the partnership with the universities is the effectiveness of the assistance and the indirect benefits presented.

You can find more detail on the case studies and information on the AI Foundry here.

For more information on this project and to find out how the CSI’s involvement has transformed the businesses who took part email us