Government investment to develop AI capabilities with the University of Salford

Ripe Insurance has secured support from the Government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, for a new knowledge sharing partnership with the University of Salford as part of its strategy of using data and machine learning to drive rapid growth.

Through the partnership, Ripe will work with researchers at the university’s School of Computing, Science and Engineering to investigate the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities to improve customer experience. The funding will contribute to the recruitment of a data scientist who will work full-time at Ripe under the supervision of the university.

The two-year partnership will see the InsurTech specialist behind some of the UK’s most successful niche insurance brands investigate the use of unique data-driven pricing models where policies, pricing and marketing can all be personalised to the individual’s needs. Behavioural economics will also be applied to understand what drives peoples’ decisions to purchase, or not, an insurance policy.

Paul Williams, Executive Chairman Ripe Insurance, said: “The insurance industry is notoriously outdated and very few insurance organisations in the UK are investing in these new technologies. This partnership will accelerate our plans to lead the InsurTech sector. We know AI and machine learning technologies have the potential to be a complete game-change for the entire insurance sector and we aim be one of the pioneers of this revolution.”

Professor Sunil Vandera, Dean of the School of Computing, Science and Engineering, said: “Knowledge Transfer Partnerships like this give businesses access to academic skills and expertise that will help them grow. The collaboration with Ripe is an exciting one and the in-house data scientist role is an incredible opportunity for someone to come into an industry which has been slow to innovate and make a very big impact.”

Innovate UK is an executive, non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. It has committed over £1.8 billion to innovation and helped 8,000 organisations with projects estimated to add more than £16 billion to the UK economy and create nearly 70,000 jobs.