Belfast startup enters defence accelerator

Written by Peter Walker

Belfast tech startup Liopa has been selected to take part in a new Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) investigating how behavioural analytics can improve understanding and measurement, help make ethical predictions, and guide better judgements on interventions for defence and security.

Liopa will leverage its existing Visual Speech Recognition (VSR) technology, which deciphers speech from analysis of lip movements for activities such as key word spotting. The existing VSR engine takes, as input, video of a subjects speaking and predicts most likely utterances.

Richard Leigh, influence programme manager at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, explained that the competition set out to find and fund a wide range of proposals to advance behaviour analytics capabilities for the sector. “A large number of high quality proposals were received and we are delighted to offer Liopa this contract through the Defence and Security Accelerator,” he added.

Liam McQuillan, founder and chief executive at Liopa, said: “We were able to show how our idea will work, and how it fits in with a larger ecosystem and other data analytics feeds – we’ve got the relevant artificial intelligence expertise and capability in-house, and we’ll also be looking to grow our team of experts in Belfast.”

Earlier this year, UK-based Massive Analytic has won a DASA competition to investigate the application of its Artificial Precognition technology to enable defence and security forces to effectively conduct electromagnetic (EM) warfare operations.