£16 million boost for UK robotics
UK research in robotics will receive a £16million boost thanks to a major partnership between the government and industry.
Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, made the announcement today at the official opening of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL). The Laboratory is a partnership between UWE Bristol (University of the West of England) and the University of Bristol. BRL strives to understand the science, engineering and social role of robotics and embedded intelligence.
“Robotics has a whole host of everyday applications, from helping our ageing population to improving manufacturing processes,” Mr Willetts explained. “Bristol Robotics Laboratory will bring together the best expertise from industry and the academic community to spearhead Britain's efforts to be world leading in this fascinating and exciting area of science.”
He continued, “I’m delighted to be able to announce today a further significant investment. A joint investment of over £16million from government and industry to fund 22 exciting, new research projects in the UK.”
Led by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) and an eight-strong group of partners, the investment has over £4m in support from industry, This will include access to specialist laboratories, equipment, expertise and advice on commercialisation and industrialisation. The partners are BAE Systems, Schlumberger, National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), Sellafield Ltd, Network Rail, SCISYS, DSTL and the UK Space Agency.
Mr Willetts was excited by the range of the group. “The partners come from a diverse range of sectors including transport, defence, aerospace, computing, and oil and gas. Showing again the breadth and significance of this technology.
“We need to do more to spread the use of robots out into the manufacturing sector,” he concluded. “There is more to do. But we in the government will continue to support it.”
Click here to see Professor Chris Melhuish provide an overview of the BRL.