USW wins £46k Smart Partnership grant to enable applied research into AI enabled systems

Andrew Ware, Professor of Computing at the University of South Wales, has been awarded a £46,210 grant from the Welsh Government’s SMART Partnerships Programme to enable a Welsh SME to develop an AI based system for reviewing method statements and risk assessments for the construction industry. 

The grant will allow the university to embed a new capability in the company to use AI technologies.

The project, which was initially identified by USW Exchange, is a collaboration between the University of South Wales and Port-Talbot-based Aurora International Consulting with support from the IBM Watson team.

“In order to make the construction industry as safe as possible, a very significant amount of work goes into carrying out risk assessments for each new build or refurbishment,” said Professor Ware.

“Along with each risk assessment a set of procedures (method statement) designed to minimise the likelihood of an accident occurring is compiled. Once completed, risk assessments and method statements are checked to ensure that nothing has been overlooked, so the entire process is lengthy and expensive.

“What’s more, there is a shortage of skilled people who can perform these checks. Using Artificial Intelligence to complete these processes will therefore result in a significant reduction in time, cost and error rates.”

The aim is that the product will be commercialised and sold to multinationals who can integrate the system into what they do. 

The project will employ an associate who will manage the project and drive the knowledge transfer at the company.

The associate will be directed and supported by Professor Andrew Ware on the year-long project which starts in November 2019.

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