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Oxford University spinout Lumai wins 11m Innovate UK Smart Grant | x-3-x

Oxford University spinout Lumai wins £1.1m Innovate UK Smart Grant to fuel optical computing revolution

– Oxford start-up to bring optical neural networks to UK market, which can be 1000x faster than traditional approaches

London, UK, February 16, 2023: Good luckthe start-up unlocking the potential of optical computing, today announced it has received a prestigious award Innovate UK Smart Grant to commercialize his groundbreaking work in forming all-optical networks and deep optics for faster, more efficient computing.

Coming out of Oxford University in January 2022, Lumai is developing all-optical neural networks for next-generation artificial intelligence (AI). With £1.1m of Smart funding won, the company is creating advanced optical computing processors where information flow and calculations are independent of electronic processing. The grant was awarded in collaboration with the University of Oxford and follows up on previous funding from PLC IP groupthe developer of science and technology companies that change the world, e Capital runethe global venture capital firm based in Luxembourg.

Existing transistor-based digital electronics are struggling to support the potential offered by AI, especially with the explosive increase in demand for computing to support game-changing AI models like ChatGPT. To counter this problem, Lumai’s computing platform is capable of energy-efficient and ultra-fast parallel processing. Lumai’s optical neural networks may be 1000 times faster – and far more sustainable – than existing transistor-based digital electronics.

The funding will support Lumai in building and launching optical neural networks for high-performance computing and computer vision, while driving developments in advanced optical technologies.

Tim Weil, CEO of Lumai, commented: “The Innovate UK Smart Grant win is a testament to the team’s vision and passion to create optical computers that are significantly faster and use less power than traditional electronics. Coming out of Oxford University, it’s only fitting that we work together with the Innovate UK project to further enhance the capabilities of these advanced optical systems. We are thrilled to bring Lumai’s revolutionary technology to the world and look forward to making its mark on the UK market and beyond. »

The professor. Alex Lvovsky, co-founder of Lumai and award-winning optical computing expert, added: « There is vast potential for optical neural networks and the support of Innovate UK, together with investments from IP Group plc and Runa Capital, will help us develop our vision to build ONN and exploit the enormous potential of optical computing ».

The Innovate UK Smart Grant has focused eligibility criteria and scope to support SMEs and their partners to develop disruptive innovations with significant potential for rapid economic payback in the UK. Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £25 million in the best, world-leading, breakthrough ideas designed for rapid and successful commercialisation.

To find out more about Lumai visit his website Here.


About Lumai
Lumai is an Oxford-based start-up focused on the development of optical neural networks (ONNs). With the modern artificial intelligence revolution coming with ever increasing computational demands, optical computing offers improvements of orders of magnitude in performance and energy efficiency. Lumai was born out of Professor AI Lvovsky’s world-leading experimental optics research group with the vision of developing end-to-end all-optical neural networks in which information flow and calculations depend minimally on electronic processing.

Contact information
Via Rosanna
+44 7770 239888

About Innovate UK

Innovate UK stimulates productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realize the potential of new ideas.

We connect companies with partners, customers and investors who can help them transform ideas into products and services for commercial success and business growth.

We fund commercial and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive corporate investment in R&D. Our support is available to businesses across all economic sectors, value chains and regions in the UK. Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation.

For more information visit www.innovateuk.ukri.org

IP group information

IP Group develops science and technology businesses that change the world through life sciences, technology and clean technology (through Kiko Ventures). The Group has a strong track record of success, having been the founding investor in a number of high profile companies, including Oxford Nanopore Technologies plc, and has one of the most exciting portfolios of high growth assets in Europe. The Group also owns Parkwalk, the UK’s largest growing EIS fund manager which supports breakthrough technologies emerging from leading UK universities and research institutes. IP Group is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange under the trading code IPO.

For more information, visit our website at www.ipgroupplc.com.

About Rune Capital
Founded in 2010, Runa Capital is a Luxembourg-based international venture capital firm investing in enterprise software, deep tech (open source software, machine learning and quantum computing) and software solutions disrupting regulated markets such as finance, education and healthcare .
From 2010 to 2022, Runa Capital has raised over $500 million and invested in more than 100 companies in Europe and North America, including Nginx (acquired by F5 Networks for $700 million), MariaDB, Zopa, Brainly, DrChrono, Smava and Mambu. The firm’s founding partners created several global software companies, including Acronis (valued at over $3.5 billion after a round with Blackrock), Parallels (acquired by Corel), Odin (acquired by Ingram Micro), and Acumatica (acquired by a private equity fund Partner EQT).

For more information please visit https://runcap.com