Plans to make UK leading light in robotics

Posted on 7 Sep 2015 by Fred Tongue

Innovate UK’s Northern Robotics Network put on a showcase of the future of UK robotics as one of David Cameron’s priority policies.

The launch of Innovate UK’s Northern Robotics Network (NRN) is the first step in aligning partners in academia, research and development and commercial innovation in robotics and autonomous systems.

Prime Minister David Cameron visits the home of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
PM David Cameron promised to make the UK, “The best place in Europe to innovate, patent new ideas and set up and expand a business.”

PM David Cameron promised to make the UK, “The best place in Europe to innovate, patent new ideas and set up and expand a business.”

The Government claims that the launch of the NRN will enable faster, wealth-creating applications of rapidly moving technology.

According to the Department of Business, innovation and Skills, the UK is in prime position to achieve a 10% share of the robotics and autonomous systems market that is estimated to be worth £70bn by 2020.

Paul Mort, chairman of the NRN, commented: “By collaborating with our partners, academia and commercial enterprise we can create new economic opportunities across the UK and worldwide faster and more productively than previously possible.

“The aim is to establish our network as a Northern Powerhouse for Robotics and Autonomous Systems, growing it on behalf of UK plc and export the applications and products across global markets.”

Scientists and experts showed their progress under the GAMMA programme (Growing Autonomous Mission Management Applications), a three-year, £9million investment by the government in the regions.

The event took place at the University of Salford at MediaCity in Manchester and had a experts demonstrating new technology across a industries including food production, manufacturing, aerospace and rail.

University of Birmingham's Intelligent Robotics Lab
University of Birmingham’s Intelligent Robotics Lab.

Dr David Bailey, chair of the steering committee for GAMMA, said: “This demonstrates how far we have come in developing this technology for everyday business – and how far it can go.

“The sheer diversity of innovation and applications brings home the real value being developed through businesses in the region large and small.”

Dr Bailey, also chief executive of the North West Aerospace Alliance, added: “The GAMMA programme has provided SMEs with funding and practical technology support, enabling them to develop their intellectual property into a real successful business and developed the infrastructure to serve this developing supply chain into the future.”

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