A new £12 million research hub to develop artificial intelligence (AI) for chemistry and work to ensure it is adopted across the UK will be led by the University of Liverpool and Imperial College London. Dubbed AIChemy, this AI in Chemistry Hub is one of nine supported through an £80 million investment from the UK Research and Innovation’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

 This UK-wide consortium will connect internationally recognised AI researchers and those focused on the interface of AI for chemistry from those two universities and eight others, as well as more than 15 industry partners.

‘This is the UK’s first academic–industrial institute of its kind dedicated to supporting collaboration between chemistry and AI researchers,’ explained Andy Cooper from University of Liverpool’s chemistry department, who is co-leading this new hub. ‘There is huge scope for chemistry researchers to work more effectively with AI researchers and this new hub will bring together two separate disciplines to build a new cohesive UK research community.’

Imperial College London computational chemist Kim Jelfs, the new cross-disciplinary research hub’s other co-lead, suggested that AI has the potential to transform chemistry and stated that this consortium aims to ensure that the UK is at the forefront of the AI chemistry revolution.

‘We are at the start of a revolution in all technology areas, driven and enabled by advances in AI,’ added materials scientist Mary Ryan, Imperial’s vice-provost for research and enterprise. ‘To take advantage of this for the UK chemistry sector requires deep collaboration between fields, and the development and deployment of new tools for discovery and translation.’