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3 September, 2020 - 12:28 By Tony Quested

AI ace OKRA expands in Cambridge and Leiden

OKRA Technologies, whose Artificial Intelligence solutions are helping to transform efficiencies in the life science sector worldwide, is recruiting Europe-wide after significantly expanding its UK presence at St John’s Innovation Centre in Cambridge.

It is recruiting across Europe for both its Cambridge office and its base in Leiden in south Netherlands.

While current headcount is 25 people, OKRA is aiming to increase this by 50 per cent.

CEO and founder Dr Loubna Bouarfa says the Cambridge expansion especially has been triggered by a record increase in business; Scaling up certainly bucks the trend for downsizing seen in so many areas of the technology scene in Cambridge.

Dr Bouarfa says that OKRA, which describes itself as the first AI company that focuses on people first, has seen “fantastic growth over the past six months.”

The company has seen increased demand for services in predicting and guiding those who work across the life science industry, including those on the front lines to solve the COVID-19 pandemic with new treatments and vaccines.

The new office space at ​St John’s Innovation Centre​ enables the growing company to come together in a safe, socially distanced environment and continue to accommodate further growth.

In recent months, OKRA has secured multiple new pharmaceutical clients, translating into a hiring effort with a goal to increase its Data Science and Engineering teams by 50 per cent.

“When the going gets tough, the tough get growing!” said Dr Bouarfa. “We’re growing stronger than ever and are proud to share an exclusive view of our new workspace. We will continue to inspire growth stories across technology and life sciences, even during the pandemic.”

The new, bigger facilities will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology, sound-proof meeting rooms, screen-protected desks and sanitising facilities.

OKRA has been involved in the development of AI products to support Life Sciences since the end of 2015. Its products for market access, ​commercial, ​medical​ and ​clinical executives are built on the most sophisticated type of deep AI. OKRA says it develops “trustworthy technology” with a ‘no black box’ promise, “providing full reasoning and explainability behind every output.”

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