High Growth AI Accelerator

Accelerate AI in Creative Industries: An acceleration programme that helps businesses access the computation power and expertise they need to validate or develop scalable machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions in the creative sector.

Opportunity Details


Registration Opens


Registration Closes



Selected businesses will benefit from collaborating closely with industry players in the sector, access to cloud credits, technical and business expertise from our valued partners, strategic and technical guidance, holistic diagnostics, tailored support, to accelerate their product readiness.

Share this opportunity

Apply now

About the AI Accelerator

The High Growth AI Accelerator for BridgeAI is a 14-week accelerator programme for UK-based startups, scaleups and SMEs to help them validate and develop responsible, ethical and desirable AI and ML deep-tech solutions.

The theme of the call focuses on addressing critical aspects of the creative industries with solutions that can demonstrate technological innovation and redefine the concept of entertainment in the digital era. We are interested in proposals spanning the entire spectrum of the creative industries, encompassing areas such as music, digital media, film, television, and beyond.

We invite innovators to tackle specific commercial challenges, developed in collaboration with industry leaders. Applicants are encouraged to choose a challenge aligned with their expertise, as each presents a distinct opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the landscape of AI and ML solutions in the creative sector.

Selected businesses will benefit from collaborating closely with industry players in the sector, access to cloud credits, technical and business expertise from our valued partners, strategic and technical guidance, holistic diagnostics, tailored support, to accelerate their product readiness.

This programme is the second accelerator delivered by Digital Catapult and part of BridgeAI, an Innovate UK national programme that seeks to stimulate the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies in agriculture, creative, construction, and transport.

BridgeAI is jointly delivered by Innovate UK Business Connect, Digital Catapult, The Alan Turing Institute, BSI and the Hartree Centre and funded by Innovate UK.


  • Overview

    Music Technology UK is a membership association with a mission to drive recognition of the UK as a global leader in music tech innovation. They stand side by side with the UK’s world-leading music industry to maximise opportunities for investment and growth. By building innovative and productive partnerships with music industry stakeholders and supporting new and existing initiatives, Music Technology UK aims to create greater value for all.

    The challenges developed by Music Technology UK are focused on how AI can support the huge opportunities for growth and innovation in the music industry, and redefine how music is created, produced, consumed and distributed. We are seeking ideas to simplify rights management, enhance efficiency, and empower artists in monetisation and visibility amidst digital streaming platforms.

    Please choose one challenge focus area or present your idea for Music Technology UK:

    Rights and Royalties

    • How might we streamline the payment of recording and publishing royalties to artists, ensuring reduced waiting times and more accurate income?
    • How might we enhance the process of labelling and organising recordings to ensure consistency and facilitate accurate royalty payments to rights holders?

    Content and Ownership

    • How might we address the oversaturation of music content on streaming services to ensure accurate identification and compensation for artists?
    • How might we support artists in identifying and addressing potential cases of likeness infringement across various creative elements like songwriting, melodies, and lyrics?
    • How might we empower artists to maintain ownership and control over their digital identity and content, allowing them to determine how it is used and distributed?

    Music Production

    • How might we optimise aspects of music production to enhance the creation process across various mediums, including composition, editing, writing and performance?
    • How might we enhance the depth of interaction and collaboration among artists, rights holders, record labels and other key players?
  • Overview

    Founded in 2012, LADbible Group has redefined entertainment and news for a social generation. LADbible Group is now one of the world’s largest social publishers, boasting a following of 452 million worldwide, including 141 million in the US. Their audience reach extends to over 1 billion. The group includes ten core brands, six websites, and an international presence that spans the UK, US, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, India, and beyond.

    The challenges experienced by LADbible Group revolve around their existing large archive of User Generated Content (UGC) and licensed content provided via its CONTENTbible platform for search, viewing and third-party licensing. These include maintaining high-quality standards for UGC managing metadata, which impact the efficiency of content search. We are looking for solutions to transform or repurpose our existing UGC, which is often of suboptimal quality, and methods to improve the searchability, organisation, and understanding of its content archive.

    Please choose one challenge focus area or present your idea for LADbible Group:

    Reformatting and Repurposing

    • How might we enhance video or audio quality and prepare content for new platforms or mediums?
    • How might we efficiently reformat or edit existing content to meet the requirements of different social media platforms and audiences?

    Enhancing Discoverability

    • How might we enrich the metadata of our archive to enhance discoverability and surface relevant content more effectively?
    • How might we create new metrics, analyses, and outputs that enhance content organisation and accessibility?
  • Overview

    Merlin Entertainments is the global leader in branded entertainment destinations, creating memorable, immersive brand experiences for over 60 million guests annually. Our strategy is to deliver high growth and high returns by leveraging strong brands, a diversified portfolio, and strategic partnerships with Intellectual Property owners. Our goal is to continually innovate and enhance the guest experience, ensuring magical memories for all visitors.

    The challenges faced by Merlin Entertainments span across various domains, including refining creative workflows, optimising queue flows, and measuring visitor satisfaction, all aimed at enhancing the overall theme park experience. Currently, prolonged wait times significantly diminish guest satisfaction; and the Net Promoter Score (NPS) is measured through on-site surveys on digital interfaces after guests exit rides, which has limitations and may not accurately reflect NPS or its drivers. We are looking for AI-powered solutions to improve the visitor experience, refine the waiting experience or even eliminate queues, and enhance our creative processes.

    Please choose one challenge focus area or present your idea for Merlin Entertainments:

    Supercharging Creative Processes

    • How might we facilitate the ideation process by generating innovative concepts and themes and assist in the creation of detailed visualisations to represent new experience designs?
    • How might we streamline the development of experience narratives and storytelling elements, while connecting visuals and descriptions into storyboards?
    • How might we enable collaborative design processes among creative teams, ensuring consistency and quality in the final product?

    Enhancing Queue Management

    • How might we predict and manage guest flow effectively, incorporating real-time updates and personalised queue management to minimise waiting times?
    • How might we create engaging experiences for guests during their wait and enriching their overall satisfaction?
    • How might we help pre-plan guest visit intentions to enable parks to predict and prepare for daily visitor intake?

    Optimising Attraction Feedback

    • How might we accurately capture and analyse guest satisfaction in real-time and provide actionable insights to improve guest experiences and overall NPS?
    • How might we collate and summarise multiple online guest feedback sources to identify the key drivers influencing NPS for attractions on a daily basis?
  • Overview

    Bauer Media Audio is Europe’s leading digital commercial radio broadcaster and audio operator. Experts in the power of sound, the company reaches over 57 million listeners weekly through its market-leading broadcast radio, online services, and podcasts.

    The challenges of Bauer Media Group focuses on enhancing Rayo, their audio application which functions as a centralised hub for podcasts and radio broadcast from over 50 European stations. We are seeking AI-driven solutions to elevate Rayo and increase user engagement, satisfaction and retention. This involves tailoring content, creating personalised experiences, visualising audio data and optimising media production workflows.

    Please choose one challenge focus area or present your idea for Bauer Media Group:

    Personalised Audio Curation

    • How might we create a personalised ‘companion’ to join users on their listening journey, suggesting content that resonates with their current mood and preferences?
    • How might we maintain the element of surprise by incorporating both familiar and new tracks, ensuring recommendations are not overly predictable?
    • How might we leverage new data points collected by Rayo to provide recommendations that dynamically adapt to each user’s context and listening habits?
    • How might we automate content atomisation and metadata enrichment to deliver personalised experiences, such as generating yearly or birthday summaries of users’ listening habits or suggesting content tailored to their work commute duration?

    Visualise and Optimise Audio Experience

    • How might we integrate visuals with audio content to enrich the user experience and appeal to a broader audience who prefers multimedia content?
    • How might we transform audio into different formats of content such as videos?
    • How might we streamline the entire media production workflow, from ideation to distribution,
      while continuously optimising content based on feedback data?
  • Overview
    Challenge proposal

    If the industry partner-led challenges do not align with your current project goals or focus area, we invite companies to present their ideas that can address pressing issues aligned with one of the four challenge owners and their relevant creative subsector.

    Your project must:

    • Demonstrate an innovative and ambitious idea that is technically feasible and scalable.
    • Utilise AI/ML or enable the use of AI/ML.
    • Demonstrate an increase in business productivity, contributing to the growth of the UK’s
      creative industries.
    • Address specific challenges faced by one of the challenge owners and their respective
      subsectors – music, digital media and entertainment, leisure and entertainment parks, radio
      and publishing.
    • Consider the potential impact of the proposed solution and how it will benefit the challenge
      owner, their audience, and the broader creative landscape.
  • Cloud services and technology providers
    Regulatory and legal advisors

    Organisations offering valuable resources and services, such as cloud computing credits or free access to their platforms, along with expertise to assist companies in their technical development.

    • Amazon Web Services
    • Google Cloud Platform
    • YellowDog
    • NVIDIA
    • MongoDB

    Organisations providing guidance and support in navigating regulatory compliance, legal frameworks, and industry standards. Their expertise ensures that companies operate within legal boundaries and adhere to relevant regulations.

    • Information Commissioner’s Office
    • BSI
    • Marks & Clerk

Programme information

  • Participants will benefit from computational power, strategic guidance, holistic diagnostics, tailored support, and a showcase platform to accelerate the readiness of their AI/ML solutions:

    • Industry access and expertise
      Collaborate with Industry Challenge Owners to address prominent challenges in the creative sector and benefit from their networks and expertise.
    • Computational power access
      Subject to availability and third-party terms, access to computational power provided by the Technology Partners: up to $25k for two years in AWS credits and one year of AWS business support (up to $10,000); up to $2,000 USD in Google Cloud credits, valid for two years (Start Tier) or $100,000 USD in Google Cloud credits for one year, with 20% off for the second year (Scale Tier); free six months use of YellowDog platform; up to $5,000 credits MongoDB credits; up to $1000 Miro Credits.
    • Holistic diagnostics
      Diagnostic sessions with experts from the Digital Catapult Team and Industry Challenge Owners to address current AI/ML technological, commercial and strategic needs.
    • Tailored support
      Hands-on support to accelerate data and product readiness; and to develop and improve product, technical, business and ethical roadmaps.
    • Workshops and masterclasses
      Group sessions covering diverse topics, including data readiness and maturity, regulatory compliance, investment readiness and ethical best practices.
    • Showcase
      Exclusive demo day to present your progress to industry representatives, potential investors and customers.
  • The programme is inviting applications from UK-registered startups, scaleups and SMEs that:

    • Have have existing or new AI-enabled services or AI-integrated infrastructure solutions that can demonstrate to solve one of the challenges of the call
    • Have strong technical teams
    • Have available data and an immediate need for computation
  • Selection criteria

    Applications will be assessed and scored equally against five criteria. All applications must have an AI/ML use case to take part in the programme but we encourage applications that wish to integrate any other advanced digital technology.

    1. Relevance and Feasibility
      The applicant should demonstrate their solution can tackle the challenge selected and the company has the appropriate technical expertise to deliver the solution.
    2. Business Strategy
      The applicant should be able to articulate the company’s business model that drives their AI/ML solution implementation and commercialisation.
    3. Data and Code Readiness
      The applicant should demonstrate that their company has the necessary data ready and has an implementation plan that requires immediate access to computational power.
    4. Ethical Impact
      The applicant should exemplify a responsible use and understanding of the impact of their AI/ML solution, and a strong commitment to ethical AI practices.
    5. Growth Potential
      The applicant should be capable of identifying clear goals and demonstrating their solution has the potential to scale after the programme.
    Scoring Criteria

    The scoring criteria will be assessed based on statements in the areas above. Each criterion will be scored on a range from 0 to 5.
    0 being an Unacceptable or No submission score for each criterion and 5 being an Excellent score for each criterion. This scoring will be applied to all applications and will be equally weighted (20%).

    Selection Process
    1. Applications judged and shortlisted
      Applications will be initially screened for eligibility, followed by assessment based on selection criteria by the Digital Catapult team, resulting in the selection of a shortlist.
    2. Interview day and selection
      After the assessment of applications, companies will be notified of the status of their applications. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview with Digital Catapult and the relevant Industry Challenge Owners. During the interview, applicants will have the opportunity to present their ideas and address any questions posed by the judges. Following the interviews, the panel will deliberate and select the final cohort.
    3. Contracting
      Successful applicants will be notified and provided with a standard Programme Agreement for review. These contracts are standard and not negotiable. We do try to ensure these contracts are fair and reasonable. Invitation to a programme kick-off will then follow provisionally on the completion of this agreement.
    • Open Call opens – 17 June 2024
    • Open Call closes – 21 July 2024 at 23:59
    • Briefing Webinar – 3 July 2024 Register for the Briefing Webinar
    • Q&A Sessions – 26 June, 5, 12, 19 July 2024
    • Notification of shortlisted projects and Invitation to interview – TBC
    • Interviews – TBC
    • Notification of successful projects – 2 August 2024
    • Contracting – 19 – 30 August 2024
    • Programme Start Date – 2 September 2024
    • Programme End Date – 6 December 2024
    • Kick Off Programme Event – 5 September 2025
    • Final Programme Event – TBC

    Please note that dates and activities can be subject to change. Digital Catapult will endeavour to provide as much notice as possible to applicants/participants should any changes arise.

  • Application process
    1. Applicants check they meet the programme’s specific requirements.
    2. Applicants fill out their application form through the platform Skipso. Applicants will need to complete the application form by 23:59 on 21th July 2024.
    Application notes

Related programme



Empowering UK organisations to harness the power of AI through support and funding, bridging the AI divide for a more productive UK.


Connect with Innovate UK Business Connect

Join Innovate UK Business Connect's mailing list to receive updates on funding opportunities, events and to access Innovate UK Business Connect's deep expertise. Please check your email to confirm your subscription and select your area(s) of interest.