Two Sussex Innovation members were successful in the latest round of seed funding from the Innovate UK Accelerated Knowledge Partnerships programme, after submitting bids alongside the University of Sussex Innovation and Business Partnerships team to collaborate with researchers at the University.

Emotion measurement and analytics technology company Emteq is collaborating with Professor Martin Yeomans from the School of Psychology after being introduced to each other at one of Sussex Innovation’s regular community socials.

Emteq’s hardware, which incorporates biometric sensors and a range of other tools into VR headsets and smart glasses, will be used to provide proof of concept datasets for a machine learning model to automate the measurement of chewing. Ultimately, the project will lead to the development of more advanced tools for researchers, to monitor food consumption and eating behaviours.

“A chance conversation with Sussex Innovation’s Peter Lane about our glasses being able to accurately detect jaw movements led to him introducing us to Professor Yeomans, one of the world’s leading experts on the psychology of eating,” said Dr Charles Nduka, founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Emteq Labs. “This has opened a whole new market opportunity for us, and highlights one of the many benefits of working here. It’s the intersection of clinical needs identified via the medical school, scientific research at the University, and start-up innovation.”

Virtual sports gaming platform Fantasy Football Hub will work with Dr Ivor Simpson’s team at the School of Engineering and Informatics to develop an industry-first probabilistic deep learning model that will transform Fantasy Premier League points predictions. This will provide Fantasy Football Hub subscribers with superior insights, enhancing their chances of success in fantasy football through a more accurate and sophisticated experience.

“We are incredibly excited to embark on a partnership with the University of Sussex and work closely with Dr Ivor Simpson and Dr Oliver Thomas from Sussex AI,” said Will Thomas, founder of Fantasy Football Hub. “Special thanks go to Nile Amos, Tina Perrett, and Kate Thorpe from the IBP team, whose invaluable assistance has been instrumental in getting this project off the ground. We are confident that this will mark the beginning of a long-term collaboration that will not only advance our AI capabilities but also significantly contribute to our overall business growth.”

“We are delighted to be working with Fantasy Football Hub on the challenging problem of predicting player performances in Fantasy Premier League,” said Dr Ivor Simpson, senior lecturer in Artificial Intelligence at the University of Sussex. “This project takes advantage of our experience in developing machine learning approaches for problems that depend on a complex set of factors and intrinsically have a lot of randomness. It’s a great example of the kind of interdisciplinary and industrial collaborations that Sussex AI can do, and we hope to create many more of these across the centre in the near future.”

If you have an innovation challenge to address that could be supported via academic research, the Innovation and Business Partnerships team are actively seeking business partners as part of their Connect to Expertise programme. The scheme offers match funding to support mini projects connecting businesses to University experts, helping to find solutions and drive longer-term ambitions for collaboration. Find out more and get in touch with the IBP team here, or speak to Sussex Innovation for an introduction.