Working with the DDI and the Accelerator was great for us in terms of the training, content, support, connections and collaboration. That's something we will carry forwards in the business.

The AI Accelerator really helped us to focus and take more effective actions.

In terms of the future for us, that's about gathering even more data so that we can make the solution work across other media, so from text into voice, and then also across other languages, so that we can help more and more of those people that are vulnerable and struggling.

Support from DDI came through the AI Accelerator, and that was a critical point for us in our development of the business. DDI came in and delivered some of the training, support and guidance that we really needed to go from concept through to a functioning business.

At Inicio AI, we've created a virtual agent that guides the customer through a detailed affordability assessment. It's an important task with a variety of uses including for those who are struggling with debt. Digital support alleviates any discomfort that customers might have asking for help with the form.

“The idea for Inicio came out of consumer research, where we could see that customers were struggling with taking the first step to resolving their debt.”

Inicio AI


Rachel Curtis,

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at Inicio AI.

“What we found really fantastic about the Bayes Centre is the way it's enabled us to grow as a business.”

We use the Bayes Centre on a regular basis. I think it's been a real success story to have enabled an organisation like Snugg that doesn't just do data, but actually is a real business that has all these other skillsets, to base ourselves in central Edinburgh in this way. It is absolutely unique in terms of that integration of academia with industry that we're really keen to support. In terms of the quality of the facility, other options paled in comparison.

We recognise we're still in the early stages of solving what is one of the world's most fundamental challenges. Although we've had a lot of success already, we're nowhere near where we want to get to. We’re hoping to get to approximately 100,000 – 200,000 houses that have been through our transformation journey each year.

We'll be looking at international expansion but our immediate priority is the UK because there are so many homes here that need to be fixed. There is still low hanging fruit here but once we go overseas it will become more of a challenge.

The goal:



“We've not yet moved into EV charging and all the interconnectivity that people are starting to build into their homes, but we will.”

Our goal is to start to really make some genuine impact on carbon emissions. We expect to see over the next six to twelve months an acceleration in the number of people that are using Snugg end-to-end and actually implementing their plans by installing heat pumps, insulating their loft to the point that it becomes a really tangible improvement that we're making. And the partners that we have in the banks and the utility firms and other organisations can really start to shout about what they've achieved by partnering with us.

Snugg launched at the beginning of 2022 and went live with a product nine months later. We began with an MVP product and we've spent the last twelve months iterating. Our process follows a very fast development cycle of deploy something, test it, refine it, redeploy and release – in our case often twice a week over the last year. That includes releasing new features, new tweaks, new changes to the point where we're at now.

“Just by asking someone their address, there's loads of data you can access on that property to understand quickly what needs to be done to that house to make it more energy efficient.”



Mike Teall,

Chief Commerical Officer at Snugg.

“At the Bayes Centre, it's nice to be part of a vibrant community. There's lots of access to training events and seminars and that's been invaluable.”

In Latin America, the problem isn't about trying to manage these intensive systems, it’s just getting out to the field. You might be in one village and the farm you're managing might be on the other side of the valley or even 15 miles away, taking you a long time to get there. So they need data to get an idea of what's going on over there without having to visit.

Step by step we've got a clear plan for market in the UK through existing partners. We've got a clear plan for Latin America, particularly Colombia, Europe, and elsewhere in the world. But we've got to be realistic about what we can achieve on our own. That's why partnerships are so important.

The link between us and the DDI is through the Bayes Centre, which has been an ideal fit for us. The link with the University of Edinburgh is something that we've embraced fully. It's given us a really great opportunity to collaborate with like-minded organisations and get exposed to a range of different and inspirational ideas.

“We think of the Earth as a connected set of systems, and we're getting some insights into how those systems work to help people manage the planet better.”

We're continuing post product to develop it into a service and beyond that thinking about how the carbon component in the model can also be used to deliver additional insights about climate resilience, managing soil carbon and making a more robust supply chain.

Pastoral was a project funded by Innovate and Environment Systems in partnership with the University of Edinburgh and the Soil Association. So far, we have monitored over 600 fields over a two-year period, which has given us exceptionally clear knowledge of the market. These data streams feed together into a system to give farmers weekly insights into their biomass and longer term thinking about how to improve their understanding of how carbon is flowing through the system.

“I manage our agricultural team and our Earth observation, innovation, research and development activities.”

Environment Systems


Dr. Iain Cameron,

Principal Consultant at Environment Systems

“The Optima data team have grown year-on-year, and we are now publishing in the world’s top machine learning and academic journals, and delivering value for some of the world’s best known brands.”

The unique selling point of the Bayes Centre is that it will act as a hub regardless of a company’s size. It brings together the best minds and people who are sitting at the frontier of their respective disciplines in data and I can’t imagine our organisation outgrowing that. We will always take advantage of the Bayes Centre and the academics that are associated with it as a pivotal part of the business model.

The ambition for Optima Partners Advanced Data Practice is to triangulate the best in class development of algorithms for data-driven innovation in academia with the principled application of those algorithms in industry. A consultancy like Optima with fantastic minds, PhD level researchers and professionals of 20 years’ experience, can triangulate those three communities together. To do that effectively, the algorithms that are being generated by the computer science departments, the maths departments and machine learning departments in Edinburgh University and beyond are continually updated.

“A world-class science and innovation centre should help inspire the scientists and technologists that call it home, the Bayes Centre more than delivers on this.”

We work with internationally recognised companies in the energy, financial services and health sectors. And in the tech sector we work with small, innovative companies that are looking to leverage the latest and greatest machine learning and AI technologies to advance their prospects in the marketplace.

Our close connection to academia made it a natural choice to partner with the University of Edinburgh and particularly co-locate ourselves in the Bayes Centre. We work very closely with Professor Riccardo Marioni's group at the University of Edinburgh, where we collaborate to advance statistical and data science and epidemiological thinking in early phase drug discovery.

“Our principal aim is to deliver cutting-edge data-driven transformation and innovation across energy, finance, health and technology sectors.”



Christopher Foley,

Chief Scientist and Managing Director at Optima Partners.