ISCF Awards £68 mn Funds to Break-through Robotics and AI Projects

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The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) will be awarding funding of around £68 mn to the most ground-breaking innovation and research projects in the field of artificial intelligence and robotics to have been uncovered recently. The awards that have been announced in this regard are a part of the UK government’s £93 mn funding announced in the country’s budget of April 2017 for the robotics and artificial intelligence in extreme environments programme.

The programme aims at bringing together the country’s world-leading research with business to develop robotic solutions capable of making working environment safer in industries such as nuclear energy, off-shore energy, deep mining and space, improve the level of productivity, and open up new opportunities that are not currently available.

The winning projects are:

£44.5 mn investment for a span of 3.5 years to Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The funds will help further the development of robotic solutions for safer working environments in the aforementioned industries. The research will be supported by additional international as well as commercial partners as well, with the Space Agency of the UK also being one of the funders.

£4.3 mn investment for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), which will support five research projects at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), and the Southampton and Exeter universities for the development of sensors capable of operating in the extreme conditions in the ocean. The sensors are expected to be compatible with the current marine robotic vehicles or the ones that are currently under development at the National Oceanography Centre.

Funding of £16.5 mn for winners of a collaborative R&D competition held by Innovate UK, which includes more than 70 businesses, 10 research organizations, and 13 universities. Funding of £3 mn for 17 demonstrator feasibility studies or proof of concept studies that won a separate competition held by Innovate UK.

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