What is NPIC Phase One?

NPIC (Northern Pathology Imaging Co-operative) is a unique collaboration between NHS, Academic and Industry partners. NPIC is one of five centres supported from the Data to Early Diagnosis and Precision Medicine strand of the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, managed and delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in 2019.

The investment of £10.1m from UK Research and Innovation was boosted by an initial investment of £7m from the companies involved in the programme. NPIC aims to deploy digital pathology across hospitals in the North of England and will develop artificial intelligence tools to help diagnose cancer and other disease. The successful partnership bid, led by the University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, embraces a network of nine NHS hospitals, seven universities (N6 Network) and 10 industry-leading medical technology companies. NPIC has put new digital pathology scanners into a network of northern NHS hospitals, including all of the hospitals across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, to gather digital pathology images for training AI systems. This will generate about 760,000 images per year, about 1.2 petabytes of data.

The consortium is a globally-leading centre for applying artificial intelligence (AI) research to cancer diagnosis. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is a global leader in the area of digital pathology for cancer diagnosis, and has many close links with academic researchers.