Masaryk University Has a New Spin-Off – AI|ffinity

Masaryk University has its twentieth spin-off – another company that uses the university's intellectual property under licence. Thanks to this, the research results won't stay on the campus but will be put into practice. The AI|ffinity company obtained a licence for a software tool that uses artificial intelligence to determine the structure of biomolecules down to the atomic level. The company's founder, Thomas Evangelidis, will continue developing the software with the aid of his partner. It will find use mainly in the pharmaceuticals sector.

31 Mar 2022

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The AI|ffinity spin-off will use two Masaryk University software tools, namely 4D CHAINS and 4D GRAPHS. Both are used to determine and model the structures of biomolecules such as proteins, using a new approach to measuring and a computer algorithm. This method can determine the structure of biomolecules down to the level of atoms, their complexes, and dynamic behaviour.

"The 4D GRAPH software is another step contributing to faster discovery of new drugs. It's unique in that it enables cheaper and quicker experiments that achieve the set goals," says Thomas Evangelidis, founder and co-author of the computer algorithm.

The software tools were developed with the support of the Grant Agency of Masaryk University. The 4D GRAPHS software was co-developed in a joint interdisciplinary research project by three Masaryk University departments – the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC), the Institute of Computer Science and the Faculty of Informatics. The Technology Transfer Office played a crucial role in negotiating the terms and conditions and granting the licence.

"This promising business plan was created thanks to the cooperation of the university, the newly founded company and the South Moravian Innovation Centre (JIC). In the Czech Republic, the transfer of research results into practice is still not quite commonplace. For a project to be successful, it is paramount to have an innovative technology and, at the same time, an enthusiastic scientist determined to do business. That is why every new spin-off is so special," explains Jana Daňková, business development manager of the Technology Transfer Office of Masaryk University.

Last year, the spin-off received a grant from the South Moravian Innovation Centre (JIC) under the "Prototype and Verify" programme. Currently, there is another call of this programme underway. "The AI|ffinity's story illustrates perfectly why South Moravia is one of the Central European leaders in supporting innovations. On the one hand, there is a highly innovative project with great commercial potential and a quality team; on the other hand, the JIC and Brno programme provides grants and top experts. If all the pieces fall into place and the project succeeds, it can grow into a successful global company," claims Petr Chládek, the director of JIC.

AI|ffinity's partner – the company UNICO – has been at the birth of more than 100 technological innovations using cutting edge science and research. "It is key that the projects we're involved in produce quality scientific results with global market potential. Moreover, from the very beginning, AI|ffinity has decided they wanted to have the best product in the world. Such academic spin-offs are few and far between in the Czech Republic," says Vojtěch Kadlec, CBO & and co-founder of UNICO. He also adds that AI|ffinity is a company that operates in the dynamically growing market of artificial intelligence in pharmaceuticals.


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