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22 June, 2018 - 11:15 By Tony Quested

Iprova to change the light bulb approach to invention

A Swiss-based AI innovator is set to open a Cambridge operation and is hiring in the cluster for a new kind of role designed to re-invent invention!

Iprova creates inventions that help define new products and services for some of the world’s best known technology companies using a novel data-driven approach.   

It works with clients in North America, Europe and Japan to develop advanced algorithms to bring creative and inventive intelligence to applications. Customers include companies such as Philips, DuPont and Panasonic. 

Its technology augments human intelligence and helps the business create what it calls “commercially relevant, disruptive and timely inventions for our customers.”

Founder and CEO Julian Nolan told Business Weekly Iprova is breeding a new generation of “intelligent inventors” which busts the mould of traditional discovery – the Eureka style, light bulb moments.

He says: “Hundreds of patents have been filed based on our inventions in diverse physical science based industries such as mobile devices, wearables, 5G telecommunications, autonomous vehicles, nutrition and healthcare.”

Headquartered in Lausanne, Iprova already has an office near the Silicon Roundabout in London and is now hiring in Cambridge with a view to establishing a second UK hub here.

Nolan told us: “We have started hiring in Cambridge and already have a number of people working in or around the city. We are planning to open a physical office in Cambridge shortly.  

“We expect to have around 10 people in the Cambridge cluster in addition to our London and Lausanne offices staff by the end of the year.

“The role we are primarily hiring for in Cambridge is that of ‘Invention Developer’ – as far as I know a unique role – perfect for creative engineers.”

Iprova is using artificial intelligence to revolutionise the way humans approach invention. The company is combining AI with a team of creative scientific minds – the invention developers – to accelerate the development of tomorrow’s products and services.

Jasper Van den Berg, an invention developer working at Iprova’s head office in Lausanne, says Iprova’s invention developer role redefines inventors for the digital age. 

“Traditional inventors were scientists or engineers with a deep understanding of a specific technical field. This only gave the inventor access to a limited amount of research insight.

“Even collaborative inventing through teamwork only provides insight into a handful of additional fields, since it’s just a team of specialists. With such approaches to invention, researchers can only dig deeper into specific areas rather than offering genuine innovation by taking the field in a different direction.

“Iprova does this on a massive scale – in real-time – by using data from across the spectrum of human knowledge to make connections between ideas from different fields of study.”

Iprova’s invention developer role provides a unique perspective on this. The job involves scientists and engineers working in a role made possible thanks to AI, with invention developers using data presented by Iprova’s intelligent algorithms to create inventions that define the products and services of tomorrow.

“The invention developer is a job that goes hand in hand with technological advancement,” says Nolan. 

“Our technology and invention developers have been successful in creating landmark inventions for some of the world’s best-known companies in the US and Asia, as well as in much of Europe. 

“It allows us to operate in industries as diverse as healthcare, autonomous vehicles, finance and energy, which is only possible thanks to the data processing capabilities of our data-driven approach to invention. Our system has delivered jobs for the local economy and value to businesses and markets worldwide.”

Before starting Iprova, Nolan was vice-president of licensing for Honeywell in Europe. Formerly, he worked at the Central Research Laboratories of EMI Music in London in the role of business development director of the DSP group. He holds a first degree in electronic engineering and postgraduate degrees in subjects including AI.

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Iprova founder and CEO, Julian Nolan

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