The company

HACE is a data start-up, launched in Manchester in February 2020. I am the Managing Director and founder. We identify root causes of child labour in companies’ supply chains using data and AI so they are empowered to make timely, proactive and data-driven decisions to reduce child labour in their supply chains, resulting in positive impact and reducing reputational risk.

What challenges did you face before coming on the programme?

“The challenges the company faced was understanding the specifics of the AI we can use, the IP landscape, aggregation issues from using multiple data sources and the potential ethical issues of our business proposition.”

How has attending the programme impacted your business and helped it grow?

“I have understood our data pipeline and potential applications better. What really helped was the business planning and value proposition, we have gone on to land a pilot programme with a UK FTSE company.”

Tell us about your idea & innovation?

“A Data Extraction and Aggregation Tool (DEAT). The extraction tool would use natural language processing and text analytics methods. The aggregation tool would use machine learning algorithms such as regression and clustering algorithms for prediction. We have secured this project with The University of Salford starting in January 2022.”

How will this innovation impact your business?

“Without this technology, we would continue to use our current system which is open to human error and heavily time consuming to enter the data. We would also spend an indefinite amount of time discovering and learning different data aggregation methods as we do not have extensive experience in AI in this area. Due to the innovative nature of this project, we would be able to approach a different set and size of clients and increase our business offering significantly. We would be able to open up our market to the public sector as well as the private sector. We would also be able to focus on front-end development.”

How has the programme helped you progress your innovation?

“It made me especially think about the ethical application of AI.”

What was your key highlight of the programme?

“Meeting other business owners, networking and seeing how other companies were developing new AI or how they were already implementing AI into their business. AI Ethics was a particularly useful topic for us, as well as IP and patenting. I loved all of the case studies the lecturers used and the real-life applications of some of the AI.”

What was your key takeaway from the whole programme?

“Seeing AI as an entire process and how important ethics are to the development of AI. I am delighted that through the AI Foundry, we will be able to develop a first-of-its kind data extraction tool with University of Salford.”

Finally, describe your programme experience in 3 words.

“Insightful, exciting and in-depth.”

The project is providing innovation consultancy and advisory aid in line with the De Minimis Exemption (in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013, OJ L 352/1) and Innovation R&D aid in line with the General Block Exemption Regulation (in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014, OJ L 187/1)

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