UK government announces cash injection for robotics

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The UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has unveiled a new multi-million pound investment to expand the country’s capacity for robotics technology development.

Some £15m is being provided through the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to the Robots for a Safer World challenge, which enables universities, research organisations and businesses to develop robotic solutions for hazardous industries, such as nuclear power plants, satellites and wind turbines, as well as areas including agriculture, logistics and healthcare.

The Robots for a Safer World challenge is managed by UK Research & Innovation, which claims that technologies developed through the scheme will be able to address new problems resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, such as contact-free deliveries, and provide solutions ranging from delivery drones and driverless vehicles to robots that move hospital beds.

Andrew Tyrer, challenge director for Robotics for a Safer World, said: “I am delighted that the government has provided an extra £15m funding to help academics and businesses bridge the gap to: complete on-going deliverables set against the Robots for a Safer World Challenge, and also; utilise knowledge gained to the benefit of new sectors, ahead of this autumn’s spending review.”

The Robotics for a Safer World challenge has so far created nearly 300 new jobs in the UK and around the world, with the new funding expected to increase the number of high-skilled roles and attract more businesses to the robotics sector.

A total of £65m is being made available from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, with nearly £44m awarded to develop next-generation high-performance batteries for electric vehicles, and £6.5m allocated for advanced healthcare treatments.

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