10BE5 Gets £185,000 from Innovate UK for Manchester Uni NLP Project

10BE5, the Cleary Gottlieb-backed capital markets startup, has formed a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the University of Manchester, with around £185,000 in funding from Innovate UK, the United Kingdom’s taxpayer-fuelled innovation agency, to support the project.

The KTP aims to develop a fact-checking and data verification software product for capital markets disclosures.

The project will ‘deliver novel AI-based capabilities for automated claim detection, develop labelled data using active and proactive generative approaches, and explore the use of knowledge graphs’, they said.

The parties will recruit a PhD in Natural Language Processing to undertake the KTP under their co-supervision. Throughout the KTP, the parties will engage with interested corporations and law firms in testing and iterating the product to ensure that it meets practical needs.

Sophia Ananiadou, Professor in the School of Computer Science at the University of Manchester and director of The National Centre for Text Mining (NaCTeM), who will be working with co-founders John Kwan, Mohamed Taha and team at 10BE5, said: ‘I am excited to enter into this KTP with 10BE5, which approached us with this innovative and technically challenging project. NaCTeM has a strong track record of translating NLP research into practical applications and this presents a great opportunity for us to strengthen our footprint within the legal and financial sectors in the areas of fact checking and verification.’

While Junichi Tsujii, Professor of Text Mining at the University of Manchester and Director of the Artificial Intelligence Research Center (AIRC) in Tokyo, Japan, who will also be involved, added: ‘The subject matter of the project is very interesting and the presence of domain experts among the 10BE5 team is of critical importance. Fact checking is important  for real-life impact and will be of great interest to the wider NLP community.’

Kwan and Taha concluded: ‘We are humbled to be working with world-leading NLP experts Prof. Ananiadou and Prof. Tsujii on this exciting project and are grateful to the UK Government for its stamp of approval.

‘This KTP is a key milestone in delivering 10BE5’s mission of maximizing efficiencies in capital markets practices.’

And if you are asking why this particular university, it’s because its National Centre for Text Mining is highly respected for NLP research. Its past collaborators have included AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Unilever, Elsevier, BBC, and Pacific Life.

Meanwhile, 10BE5, which is based in London, is focused on automating capital markets-related workstreams. Its products are built with input using a range of technologies, including ‘state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms’, they said. In May this year, Killer Whale Strategies invested in the company.

Is this a big deal? Some of the money Innovate UK has thrown at legal tech projects in the past has perhaps not generated the outcomes one might have hoped for, but this one – combining a very credible legal tech startup, backed by Cleary Gottlieb, and partnering with a top NLP academic team – looks to be a good target for Innovate UK support and should generate some useful outcomes.

Looking forward to seeing what comes from this. Good luck to all involved!