The UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has selected 11 tech start-ups in Greater Manchester under its accelerator programme.

The start-ups have been selected by the organisation for creating products aimed at improving citizen safety in a digitally connected world. The organisation said that the firms will get its support and mentoring from its tech experts.

The selected firms are Shield Digital, Dadshed, Enee.io, Evergreen Smart Power, Homely Energy, Inevitable, Howz/Intelesant, Otaskies, Sparta Digital, Tended, and Wattl.

In the coming 16 weeks, the accelerator programme will offer advice to the selected businesses from Greater Manchester and the North West to help them advance their ideas.

The programme was launched in October 2019 by GCHQ as a joint venture with tech mentorship company Landing and tech accelerator UP Ventures.

UP Ventures CEO Danny Meaney said: “This is a great opportunity for tech start-ups to gain access to GCHQ’s world-class engineering and technology teams as well as leading digital thinkers and our strong investor network. We believe that this initiative has the potential to have a meaningful impact on the people of GM’s lives through applied technology.”

Among the winning projects are an artificial intelligence (AI) powered wearable tech for health and safety from Tended, a software solution from Shield Digital for identifying illegal online pharmacies, and a machine learning tool from Inevitable for data smart strategic forecasting and prediction.

Other winners include asset monitoring and tracking platform from Enee.io for energy generation and storage, delivery of a smarter energy system from Evergreen Smart Power, and smarter heat pumps from Homely Energy.

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The list of winning projects also includes an AI-based street light dimming energy solution from Otaskies, an augmented reality app for intervention in mental health/suicide, and property management technology from Dadshed.

GCHQ said that the selected business ideas for the Greater Manchester accelerator programme are better, faster, and cheaper than the available products in the market.

GCHQ technology director general Gav Smith said: “These businesses have real potential to improve people’s lives in an increasingly digitally connected world, from helping the elderly to reducing emissions.

“We’re excited to be supporting the thriving technology ecosystem in Greater Manchester, connecting ingenious entrepreneurs and creative technologists with the mission of GCHQ to help tackle some of our hardest challenges.”

In 2019, the organisation announced its intentions to open a new Manchester city centre hub located in Albert Square.



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