UK announces funding for robots, batteries and medical technologies

14 September 2020

The UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and UK Research and Innovation have announced £65 million ($84m) to help make the UK the global home for future technologies in battery development, robotics and advanced healthcare treatments. Funding will be available through the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Part of the funding - £15 million – will go towards the development of robots that inspect, maintain and repair nuclear power stations, satellites and wind turbines. The robotics will also be used to address new problems resulting from the pandemic.

A further £6.5 million will be allocated to the Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre network to accelerate patient access to advanced therapies through the development of specialised infrastructure for the delivery of these products.

Some £44 million of the investment will be used to develop the next generation of high-performance batteries for electric vehicles and wind turbines, which could also be used for new technologies such as electric aeroplanes. The funding will also be used to complete a UK Battery Industrialisation Centre. Organisations across automotive, rail and aerospace sectors will have access to the unique battery production facility combining manufacturing, experimentation and innovation.

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, established in 2017, is delivering £2.6 billion of UK government investment to address the biggest industrial and societal challenges. The new investment furthers the government’s commitment through its R&D Roadmap to put the UK at the forefront of transformational technologies and is part of the government’s wider commitment to increase R&D investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

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