Cambridge Spark awarded £1.4m for AI-powered data science EdTech platform

CAMBRIDGE | APRIL 9 2019: Cambridge Spark, leading provider of data science apprenticeships, training and recruitment, has been awarded £1.4 million in funding from Innovate UK.

The funding supports two projects, including a research collaboration with the University of Cambridge, to enhance the capabilities of their proprietary patent-pending AI-powered EdTech platform, the Knowledge Assessment Teaching Engine (K.A.T.E.®).

A superior learning experience

Dr Raoul-Gabriel Urma, CEO of Cambridge Spark, said, “K.A.T.E.® was conceived with the idea of delivering a scalable software platform, bridging the gap between higher education and industry standards by making personalisation the core of the user’s experience.”

“It provides instant feedback and grading on code written by data scientists and developers within an industry-simulated environment. This new funding from Innovate UK enables Cambridge Spark to develop support for multiple programming languages, performance and profiling metrics, personalised recommendations, and assessment utilising cutting-edge AI approaches.”

K.A.T.E.® is already used by leading forward-thinking organisations like JPMorgan UK and IMC Trading.

Derek Joyce, MD at JPMorgan, said, “The K.A.T.E.® platform forms part of our learning solution for a Data Science upskilling program we run called Data Science Academy. To make these technology solutions most effective, the key consideration for us is the balance between learner experience and scale/automation which the K.A.T.E.® platform delivers on.”

Renier Eijkelestam, Head of Technology Europe at IMC Trading said, “K.A.T.E.® helped significantly to make our option pricing competition using Python a big success. We look forward to further engaging with Cambridge Spark on technical talent attraction and assessment utilising this platform.”

World-class training that scales

Cambridge Spark’s CTO, Kevin Lemagnen, said, “The R&D funding we’ve secured will enable us to invest further into cutting-edge research, and expand upon the technical features we currently offer.”

“This allows us to increase the breadth of projects students can complete on our platform and enhance the intelligent tutoring capabilities of the system. It improves the experience of our bootcamp, workshops, and apprenticeships.”

Prof Mihaela van der Schaar, John Humphrey Plummer Professor of Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Medicine at the University of Cambridge and Turing Faculty Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute, will collaborate with Cambridge Spark on cutting edge AI research. She said: "I look forward to collaborating with Cambridge Spark on developing new machine learning methods for personalized education which will enable new generations of students to learn data science faster and more effectively."

Tim Sawyer CBE, Chief Investment Officer of Innovate UK, said, “Innovate UK is supporting two projects to be undertaken by Cambridge Spark, with a grant for an R&D project to enhance the K.A.T.E.® platform, and a £1 million innovation loan to support a project to broaden its commercial reach. We are pleased to be working with such an ambitious and market-driven business.”



About Innovate UK

Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

They drive productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base.

Learn more about Innovate UK

About Cambridge Spark

Cambridge Spark is a leader in data science talent attraction, assessment, and development.

They offer intensive bootcamps, graduate schemes, apprenticeships, and bespoke team training solutions delivered by industry and academic experts. All this is complemented by their industry-leading proprietary education platform, the Knowledge Assessment Teaching Engine (K.A.T.E.®).

Cambridge Spark addresses a growing cross-industry demand for practical data science skills, helping individuals become more employable through personalised, adaptive, industry-driven technical training.

Learn more about Cambridge Spark

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