Scaling Compute – AI at 1/1000th the cost

Backed by £42M, this programme will look to redefine our current compute paradigm.

If successful, we will create new technological options for the infrastructure supporting AI systems, enabling AI processors with performance, efficiency, and ease of manufacturing well beyond what is deemed possible today.


We are now open for applications, submit your full proposal by 07 May 2024. 

This programme has been shaped by Programme Director Suraj Bramhavar following extensive external consultation and feedback.

Why this programme:

The digital electronics industry that has transformed our lives in immeasurable ways is defined by the simple fact that, for 60+ years, we have benefited from exponentially more computing power, at lower cost. 

This fact is no longer true. For the first time in history, increased performance requires increasing costs and this coincides with an explosion of demand for more compute power driven by AI. 

Our current mechanisms for training AI systems utilise a narrow set of algorithms and hardware building blocks, which require significant capital to develop and manufacture. The combination of this significance and scarcity has far-reaching economic, geopolitical and societal implications.

What we’re shooting for:

We see an opportunity to draw inspiration from natural processing systems, which innately process complex information more efficiently (on several orders or magnitude) than today’s largest AI systems.

Our goal: to increase + open up new vectors of progress in the field of computing by reducing the cost of AI hardware.

In doing so, we’ll open up new opportunities to reap the economic + social benefits of AI, from accelerating scientific research to improving the efficiency of our public services.

Apply for funding

We are now looking for R&D Creators, individuals and teams that ARIA will fund and support, to pursue this goal. At this point, this programme consists of four technical areas (TAs) across two different solicitations.

The first solicitation consists of TA1 Bold Solutions, TA2 Bold Ideas and TA3 System-level Software Simulation – submit your full proposal by 07 May 2024.

The second solicitation will launch 03 June 2024 and will consist of TA4 Testing and Evaluation.

Application timeline

SolicitationConcept paper - open for submissionConcept paper - submission deadline*Concept paper - review and feedbackFull proposal - open for submissionFull proposal - deadlineSubmit your application
TA1-3 13.03.2427.03.24 (12pm GMT)28.03.24 - 11.04.2415.04.2407.05.24 (12pm BST)Apply here
Concept paper - open for submission


Concept paper - submission deadline*

27.03.24 (12pm GMT)

Concept paper - review and feedback

28.03.24 - 11.04.24

Full proposal - open for submission


Full proposal - deadline

07.05.24 (12pm BST)

Submit your application

*Concept papers are designed to make the solicitation process as efficient as possible for applicants. By soliciting short concept papers, ARIA reviewers are able to gauge the feasibility and relevance of the proposed project and give an initial indication of whether we think a full proposal would be competitive. Applicants can submit a full proposal even if they miss the concept paper deadline.

Meet Suraj Bramhavar

Suraj aims to redefine the way computers process information. He’ll direct funding into how we can build more efficient computers using principles ubiquitously found in nature.

Prior to ARIA, Suraj was co-founder and CTO of Sync Computing, a VC-backed startup optimising the use of modern cloud computing resources. The company was spun-out from his research at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Prior to that, Suraj worked at Intel Corp, helping transition silicon photonics technology from an R&D effort into a now >$1BN business.

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