Four start-ups join supercomputer incubator

A business using AI to develop faster diagnosis of blood cancers is one of four start-ups to secure a place on an incubator based at the home of Liverpool city region’s supercomputer. Tony McDonough reports

Digital BIC
Entrepreneurs behind MagnifyB and Voxshell at the Digital BIC at the Hartree Centre


Four start-up ventures have joined a new business incubator based around the supercomputer at the Hartree Centre at Sci-Tech Daresbury.

They are among seven businesses joining the new Digital and Quantum Business Incubation Centres, the Digital BIC and QuBIC set up by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

The Digital BIC is located at STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory, at Sci-Tech Daresbury in Liverpool city region, and is a collaboration with the Hartree Centre. The QuBIC is located at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire.

In collaboration with the STFC Hartree Centre, the Digital BIC is providing early-stage companies with an opportunity to use advanced digital technologies in their mission to turn their technology concepts into market reality.

Designed to help start-ups to bridge the gap between science and business, the incubator offers businesses a number of benefits. They include:

  • Up to £50,000 targeted research and development (R&D) funding.
  • Up to £10,000 R&D vouchers to spend with public sector partners.
  • Up to 50 hours of business support (including one-to-one coaching, investment readiness, market validation and intellectual property advice).
  • Networking and introductions to investors, funders, stakeholders.
  • Engagement with campus and cluster ecosystems.

From artificial intelligence (AI) to data analytics, four new companies will join the Digital BIC to develop transformative solutions for across a range of industries. The first companies to join the Digital BIC are:

Spotlight Pathology

Developing AI tools to streamline the diagnosis of blood cancers, with an initial focus on lymphomas. The innovation increases the diagnostic capacity of pathology services with the existing workforce, improve the objectivity of diagnosis to minimise uncertainty in the process and reduce turn-around times for patients to receive their diagnosis.


Developing an affordable software-as-a-service (SAAS) based, AI-powered, virtual adviser for SMEs, covering more than 1000 business areas. A business performance management and assessment toolset, MagnifyB is using logic and AI to provide a powerful management information, business intelligence and e-learning platform.

Pixel Research

Developing advanced techniques for the upscaling and style transfer of low-resolution assets into premium high-resolution assets in the video games market. It is the first business of its kind to focus on hand-drawn assets to remaster vintage video games for modern resolutions and hardware.


Reducing the generation of 3D mesh digital models from an eight-hour process to just five minutes by creating a new meshing algorithm on HPCs. This is normally a slow process which can take up to 80% of an engineer’s time.

The Hartree Centre is home to some of the UK’s most advanced supercomputing experts and technologies. It is also the UK’s only supercomputing centre dedicated to industry engagement.

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Director Kate Royse said: “I am very much looking forward to working with these four new businesses, as they harness the advanced digital skills and technologies here at the Hartree Centre to overcome industry challenges.

“The Digital BIC exemplifies the Hartree Centre’s firm commitment to supporting high-potential digital tech start-ups across the North West and beyond, helping to bridge the gap between transformative ideas and commercial success.”

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