University of Liverpool takes stake in tech firm

Universities are usually associated with ‘spin-out’ firms but the University of Liverpool has become an equity partner in what is being called a ‘spin-in’ tech venture. Tony McDonough reports

From left, Nicholas Lockwood, Professor Simon Maskell, Dr Alex Phillips and Andre Finn from the university and Intellegri


An existing tech business is to ‘spin-in’ to the University of Liverpool to tap in to its expertise.

Innovative ventures usually ‘spin-out’ of universities but Intellegri, which has developed technology for use in the insurance and financial sectors, is to form a new collaboration with the University of Liverpool.

The university will take an equity stake in Intellegri. This will enable it to commercialise software developed by Professor Simon Maskell, from the School of Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Computer Science.

In return Intellegri will have exclusive rights to further develop the university’s software for use in the insurance and financial industries.

This software developed by Prof Maskell and Dr Alex Phillips, experts in Bayesian modelling and inference, is based on a statistical model that can accurately, continuously and in real time assess the capital risk for insurance companies.

Intellegri is integrating the software into a cloud-based platform to develop a new product for insurance companies, capital providers and their customers. It will be able to better model their capital adequacy requirements.

Prof Maskell said: “I am excited to be part of this new University spin-in company to take forward my work.

“The statistical model that has been used to create this software was developed through my EPSRC-supported Big Hypotheses (BH) research project and Impact Accelerator Award funding.

“The aim of the BH project is to develop ground-breaking algorithmic solutions that can be applied in real world settings across many sectors in both industry and government and this new software is an example of that.”

Prof Maskell’s expertise in Bayesian modelling was used by the UK Government to estimate the UK’s R number during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is currently providing his statistical insight to help locate the missing Malaysian airlines flight MH370.

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Andre Finn, founder and chief strategy officer of Intellegri, added: “The Big Hypotheses model has been over 10 years in development, with funding of £14m.

“It’s proven. It’s capable of calculating millions of scenarios in near-real time and it has the potential to revolutionise capital reserving and reporting for insurers.

“We are thrilled to welcome Prof Maskell, Dr Phillips and the University of Liverpool to the Intellegri team as we take the Big Hypotheses model to market.”

Emma Nolan, head of enterprise at the University of Liverpool, will take a seat on the board of Intellegri as university nominee director. The formation of this spin-in was supported by the University of Liverpool’s Enterprise Team.

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