Network to establish West of England as leading region for robotics

Issue date: 26 April 2018

Launch of West of England Robotics Network

Industry, entrepreneurs and academia have joined forces to create a new network aimed at establishing the West of England as the country's leading region for robotics.

The West of England Robotics Network will bring together multinational technology firms, start-ups, SMEs, roboticists, researchers and user communities to become the region's focal point for robotics and autonomous systems.

Launched on Wed 25 April in The Hub at UWE Bristol's University Enterprise Zone, the network will support the formation and development of existing and new robotics companies and supply chains, and strengthen the region's flourishing high tech cluster.

Members of the network will connect to generate opportunities for collaboration, access knowledge and talent, attract investment and boost trade links.

Alison Wilmot, Network Co-ordinator, said: “Founded on a long and distinguished history as a hub of entrepreneurial excellence and technological innovation, the West of England has strengths in creative and digital, advanced manufacturing and aerospace, low carbon, healthcare and high-tech sectors. We want to bring together people from these and other interested communities to create and share opportunities in developing robotics and autonomous systems markets.

David Lennard, Network Manager, said “Robotics represents a huge opportunity for the West of England, which is well placed with its underlying expertise. The region boasts one of Europe's largest academic research laboratories in Bristol Robotics Laboratory and supports a wide range of industrial sectors that use robotics and autonomous systems technologies. Key players such as Dyson, Airbus, Toshiba, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce all have a keen interest in these technologies.

“It is vital that the West of England builds and protects its position as a leader in this area if it is to remain competitive in national and international markets.”

Hosted by Bristol Robotics Laboratory with support by Invest Bristol & Bath and South Gloucestershire Council, the network launch attracted more than 150 guests, with the drinks reception sponsored by NatWest.

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