The 2019 BenevolentAI Award

The challenges that medical charities of all sizes face, particularly in research and development can be daunting. From basic research to uncovering new avenues of study through to changing clinical practice, they need to keep on top of a constantly shifting regulatory environment whilst ensuring they meet the needs of patients. All of which is often done against an uncertain financial backdrop where constant fundraising is a distracting necessity.

In 2018 BenevolentAI started a new initiative, the BenevolentAI Award, in partnership with the Association of Medical Research Charities to see how technology may be able to help charities accelerate their medical research and potentially develop new treatments and therapies using artificial intelligence. 2019 will be our second year of the Award, recognising the ambition, vision and determination of medical research charities.

In medical research, strategy is a mixture of ideology interspersed and backed up with scientific evidence and charities are no different. To make a breakthrough, the time has come to try different approaches and we hope this Award presents an unusual opportunity for one charity to think outside the box and harness the transformative role of AI and machine learning to deliver better treatments and find new medicines.

Our inspiration for this award lies outside of our commercial objectives. It lies in knowledge sharing, creativity and ingenuity and to grant one winning charity access to our technology, our time and our experts to enable a charity to better understand and investigate their disease area in a way they couldn’t before.

The Award will provide access to our AI Platform and provide the winning candidate with an opportunity to better understand their chosen disease area or help solve specific challenges the charity is facing, for example:

  •   In disease areas where little is known, and new information is needed the Platform can carry out a deep investigation into a specific disease and identify new areas for R&D.

  • Where existing targets are unknown or ineffective, the technology could identify new solutions e.g. new drug targets with the potential to accelerate research towards a treatment.

  • The Platform could also be used by charities wishing to interrogate information sources they don’t have access to in order to inform their thinking around new research strategies.

  • The Platform could be used to undertake an audit of intellectual property on a charity’s grant portfolio, identifying any funded projects that have the potential to be developed further and generate possible revenue return.

Our mission is to bring better medicines to patients, both by ourselves and by advocating for charities and supporting the research ecosystem by partnering with research organisations to create a greater chance of positively impacting patients.

We are immensely grateful to every charity who has entered the process and we encourage more AMRC members to do the same. In a world where more data is being created than analysed, we are proud to be working with charities in applying technology to real unmet human need.



Full details of the Award are available on the AMRC website.

Watch our recent webinar about the BAI AWARD 2019

with James Chandler, Jaime Domingues and Carol Bewick.