Claire Perry, the UK’s Climate Change and Industry Minister, announced earlier this week that the government will be investing a total of £84 million into artificial intelligence (AI) projects in an attempt to accelerate both robotics research and smart energy innovations.
Around £16 million of the funds are to be dedicated to smart energy systems innovation. The remaining £68 million will be invested into robotics and AI research that focus primarily on improving safety in extreme environments.
In her speech at the Innovate UK Conference on the 8th November, Perry explained how Great Britain is now leading this sector through the help of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
Four new research hubs are due to be constructed at the University of Manchester, University of Birmingham, University of Surrey, and Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh using £45 million of the funding. This will be in addition to the £52 million of funding already in place for the hubs, provided by commercial and industry partners.
“Britain leads the world in innovation and technology through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, we are making £68 million available to projects in robotics and artificial intelligence with applications in clean renewable energy generation to ensure the UK is the place new technology is nurtured,” says Perry.
Other key areas the investment will be allocated to:
£16.5 million towards a research and development competition to be led by Innovate UK
£3 million will be invested across 17 studies that focus on AI operating in extreme conditions
£4.3 million for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) in support of five research projects to be carried out at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and both the University of Southampton and the University of Exeter. This will focus on developing sensors that can work in the extreme conditions of the ocean.
Earlier this year the government announced a £1 billion investment through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund in which to develop cutting-edge technologies that can raise living standards and create jobs at the same time. Cutting-edge healthcare and medicine, space technology, and battery strorage are also areas receiving government funding currently.
The Minister also announced an investment of £16 million will be out towards research into two new smart energy innovation competitions. As well as putting a focus on creating technologies that can balance out the demand of electricity on the grid, the competitions will help to explore ways in which schools, and small hospitality businesses can use smart energy systems to reduce their energy usage.
Source UK Government