Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) and Infinite Brain Technologies (IBT) have entered a five-year research and development agreement.

The two industry thought leaders will form a joint research lab to develop precise, personalised Digital Therapeutics (DTx) for human brain health by optimising the power of artificial intelligence technologies.

The collaboration looks to capitalise on IBT capacity in the development and commercialisation of digital therapeutics alongside MBZUAI expertise in artificial intelligence, with the ultimate goal of realising powerful, personalised brain and mental disorder treatments.

"The marriage between brain science and AI technology will lead to critical breakthroughs in brain health. The collaboration between IBT and MBZUAI has been forged to facilitate those advancements,” said the Founder and Chairman of IBT, Dr. Wei Sun.

“A better understanding of causal relationships between elements of cognitive training and improvements of mental conditions will provide us with insights to develop precise digital therapeutics for brain health,” Sun added.

According to the WHO, about one in eight people worldwide live with a mental disorder. In total, nearly one billion people suffer from mental health problems. Currently, around 280 million people suffer from depression, 301 million people live with anxiety, while globally more than 24 million people has schizophrenia. In terms of neurodevelopmental disorders, the worldwide estimates of prevalence of ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) are 5-7 percent of the youth population, and about 1 percent of children has ASD (Autism spectrum disorder).

“A core element of the university’s research mission is related to healthcare, as we aim to improve outcomes and quality of life through the deployment of AI-based solutions,” said MBZUAI Deputy Department Chair of Machine Learning and Director of the Centre for Integrative Artificial Intelligence, Kun Zhang.

“This new collaboration with IBT has the potential to significantly increase our understanding of brain health, ideally resulting in both physical and mental wellness benefits for patients,” Zhang added.

Justin Jia, co-founder and CTO of IBT, said, “At IBT, we have a strong data science and engineering team that is capable of designing, developing, deploying and scaling digital solutions in a short period of time. We are excited to join forces with MBZUAI and specifically, Dr. Kun Zhang's team to work on some of the most advanced topics in Machine Learning for brain science.”

MBZUAI machine learning researchers investigate the development of algorithms which can improve automated cognition, perception, and action, with a focus on both fundamental and applied research in the areas of health, climate, and education. Together, MBZUAI and IBT aim to explore the unknown areas of brain science and push the boundaries of mental health intervention.

“We have long believed that there exist significant opportunities for joint research and development of technology and healthcare breakthroughs between Abu Dhabi and China,” said Founder and Managing Director of (IBT Investor) MSA Capital, Jenny Zeng.

“MSA Capital has supported these initiatives from their earliest days by bringing industry leading companies like IBT from China to Abu Dhabi where they encounter world-class infrastructure and partners driven by a visionary national strategic imperative for innovation.”