Secretary of State visits Bristol Robotics Laboratory

Issue date: 07 December 2018

Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) welcomed Greg Clark MP as part of a visit to the city to mark the first anniversary of the launch of the Industrial Strategy White Paper.

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy toured the laboratory and met BRL senior leaders during the visit yesterday (Thurs 6 Dec). He viewed BRL's Assisted Living Laboratory, Nuclear Decommissioning Suite, Driverless Car Workshop, Robotics Innovation Facility and Hardware Incubator, learning more about how the laboratory is addressing technological challenges, and supporting businesses in new and emerging sectors.

The MP's visit to the laboratory at UWE Bristol's Frenchay campus followed a major stakeholder event at We The Curious science centre, where the Industrial Strategy's achievements were celebrated and future priorities discussed. Among the speakers at the event was Praminda Caleb-Solly, Professor of Assistive Robotics and Intelligent Health Technologies at BRL.

At BRL, Greg Clark learned how academics are providing technology to investigate issues surrounding the introduction of Connected Autonomous Vehicles and creating technology for the safe dismantling of nuclear assets scheduled for decommissioning in the UK. He was briefed about the unique enterprise ecosystem supported by the BRL, where research, teaching and enterprise are brought together to create new possibilities, businesses and supply chains.

Professor Chris Melhuish, BRL Director, said: “It was a great pleasure to host the Secretary of State at the laboratory and highlight our work. BRL enables dynamic start-ups within a culture of innovation, where academic excellence, cutting edge research and enterprise converge, in this new and emerging field of robotics and autonomous systems.”

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: "Bristol Robotics Laboratory is a fantastic example of world-leading robotics research here in the UK. Supported through our modern Industrial Strategy its transformative research has the potential to contribute towards many lives in the future - from human-robot interaction to self-driving cars and unmanned aerial vehicles to medical and rehabilitation robotics - putting us at the forefront of the industries of the future and the social benefits they can provide.

"We are committed, through our modern Industrial Strategy to build on the UK's strengths in the industries, sectors and products that will be in high demand across the world in the future."

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