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AI education platform secures Innovate UK funding to help students stay on track and achieve their learning goals

@InnovateUK grants game-changing funding for innovative #AI education platform Shiken, launched in September, which helps students stay on track and achieve their learning goals. 

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £191 million to fund pioneering research and development projects as part of the Sustainable Innovation Fund over the next two years.

Shiken (meaning ‘test’ or ‘exam’ in Japanese) was identified as a project which would help support the UK’s recovery from COVID-19, owing to its unique combination of tech-driven education content and integrated mental health support for learners. The app has a key role to play in helping students catch up and feel confident in their learning after a disruptive year.

The app, which focuses on STEM content for GCSE students as well as revision support for medical students, offers over 50,000 free quizzes and trivia questions. AI optimises the content for each individual learner and ensures they’re getting bespoke feedback, remaining focused, and staying on track to meet their individual goals. 

Graphic designer Nat Al-Tahhan collaborated with a doctor and a headteacher to develop the innovative platform. Her background in mindful content creation inspired the team to integrate ‘mini mindfulness’ sessions into the app; users are encouraged to take a break from their studies to practice proven mindfulness techniques and better their mental health.    

The gamified learning experience offered by Shiken is already proving incredibly popular. Despite only launching two months ago, the app is already being used by 4,500 students, with over 1,000 tutors and 200 schools on the waiting list. On average, users are spending 35 minutes per day on the platform, with 8 minutes dedicated to mindfulness practice. 

The Innovate UK funding will help to support the growth of the platform, which will eventually allow teachers and tutors to upload their own custom content. 

Nat Al-Tahhan, Creative Director at Shiken, says:

“We are thrilled to receive this grant from Innovate UK. It’s a stressful and uncertain time for young people around the world, and it’s never been more important to offer them accessible mental health support alongside evidence-based learning tools. Education has suffered significant disruption this year, and we need to do all we can to ensure young people feel confident and supported as they work to catch up and maintain focus over the coming weeks and months.

We’ll be using this funding to further develop the Shiken study materials and mindfulness content, so we can support and inspire more students and teachers.”

Innovate UK Executive Chair, Dr Ian Campbell, adds:

“In these difficult times we have seen the best of British business innovation. The pandemic is not just a health emergency but one that impacts society and the economy.”

 “Shiken, along with every initiative Innovate UK has supported through this fund, is an important step forward in driving sustainable economic development. Each one is also helping to realise the ambitions of hard-working people.”

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