Belfast tech firm Syndeo secures funding to develop AI application for students

  • Belfast-based technology company Syndeo has secured significant funding from Innovate UK to help improve university students’ well-being and overall learning experience in the COVID-19 era.

    Syndeo, which specialises in artificial intelligence (AI) enabled customer communications solutions was selected above thousands of applicants by Innovate UK to receive almost £300,000 in funding.

    In conjunction with its academic partners, the Northern Irish company will further develop an AI-based application to help first year university students pursue their educational goals in a way that enhances their well-being during their first year of study - a time which is known to be particularly challenging for students. 

    University first year undergraduate students fall into an age group which is particularly vulnerable to develop mental health problems and therefore have an increased risk of dropping out of university with devastating consequences for students, universities and society in general. 

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    The AI application will be evaluated by first year students from Oxford Brookes University and London Metropolitan University. The application will be available to students alongside their on-line learning materials. It will provide an easily accessible mechanism for students to obtain resources to assist them with the setting of study goals and mindfulness exercises that promote good mental health.

    In addition, it will provide access to university-specific well-being content and if necessary, connect them directly to well-being services within the university. The solution uses AI with state-of-the-art emotion detection technology to offer students individualised mental health content. 

    "We are thankful to have been awarded funding by Innovate UK for a second time," said Syndeo's CEO Oliver Lennon. "Our successful application clearly recognises the strength and expertise of the Syndeo team and our academic partners.

    "COVID-19 has transformed the face of education and universities are struggling to provide adequate mental health support for students with well-being services stretched to breaking point.

    "We look forward to making a difference here and are delighted that Innovate UK see the value and impact that can be made in what we are offering."

    RELATED: Syndeo celebrates a bumper year, doubling staff

    Source: written based on press release

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