Our University announces unique new health-AI partnership


The University of MAnchester and Finland’s Aalto University have entered into a strategic cooperation agreement to further health-AI research

Aalto University’s excellence in artificial intelligence (AI), combined with our University’s strengths in data science and AI combined with health systems, will accelerate vital research and development in data-driven healthcare and related areas.

The new collaboration will apply joint expertise to the innovative use of AI and machine learning in the medical sector. In Manchester the work will be focused around the existing Christabel Pankhurst Institute for Health Technology.

The Institute plays a critical role in pulling innovations through from basic research to market ready products and services, which can then be accelerated into clinical use through Greater Manchester’s devolved health and care system and established innovation pathway.

The new alliance with Aalto also supports the activities of the Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence (FCAI) coordinated by Aalto University. Our University is a member organisation of the Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national centre for data science and artificial intelligence.

As a part of the agreement, Samuel Kaski, Professor of Computer Science at Aalto University, has joined our University as part of a shared professorship between the two universities. As part of this new appointment Professor Kaski will become the Director of the Christabel Pankhurst Institute for Health Technology, responsible in particular of AI. He will continue his work as Director of the Artificial Intelligence Center of Finland and will remain as Academy Professor until the end of the current transition year.

Professor Kaski said: “My main task will be to set up a strong AI Center in Manchester, and the Pankhurst Institute will give unique opportunities for machine learners interested in working in medicine and health. That is what caught my attention. But there will certainly be opportunities in fundamental AI research as well."

“The mission of the whole Institute is even broader of course, and many contributors are needed and welcome. I am very glad to see a number of excellent people already engaged.”

Professor Martin Schröder, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, said “Professor Kaski has a world-leading reputation in AI, and we are delighted that he is joining us to lead the Pankhurst.

"Our collaboration with Aalto University strengthens our global reach to deliver new interdisciplinary research, innovation and impact for the benefit of the University, city and region.”