Catalyst: Strategic – Investment in health-related A.I. research in partnership with Soul Machines

MBIE has announced the 3 successful proposals under the $6 million investment in internationally connected research projects that will explore the potential applications of Soul Machines’ ‘Digital People’ TM Human OS Platform in an area of healthcare research.

About the programme

This Catalyst Strategic investment, conducted in partnership with Soul Machines Ltd, aims to advance the development of New Zealand’s dynamic digital health research ecosystem. The Call invited proposals internationally connected research projects that explore the application of Soul Machines’ ‘Digital Human’ A.I. technology in an area of healthcare research.

Soul Machines is a world leading A.I. company, whose Human OS platform aims to enable researchers and international organisations to leverage the full capabilities of human and machine collaboration. The New Zealand research teams were able to apply for up to $2 million over 3 years from MBIE, with Soul Machines providing the successful applicants with access to a ‘Digital People’ Product Environment for the projects’ duration.

Three priority areas were identified for this programme: Mental Health, Metabolic disease, and Medical Triage, with applications outside these areas also accepted for consideration. Proposals were also required to involve collaboration with world-class international research partners, with a focus on the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and Germany.

The set of 3 projects was selected through independent assessment, with a total MBIE investment of $5.1 million (GST excluded) between them.

Funded projects

Lead NZ organisation Project title
University of Auckland Tōku Hoa: A Personalized Agent for Mental Health
University of Canterbury AI-driven Two-Way, Feedback Controlled Emotional Recognition Training for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
University of Auckland Digital Twins for the management of chronic metabolic disease

Public statements of funded projects

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Last updated: 19 August 2022