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Government investment to help build robots for nuclear plants and batteries for electric aeroplanes

Thursday September 10th, 2020

Future technologies that could transform people’s lives such as high-performance batteries for electric vehicles, advanced medical treatments and robotics will receive a £65 million government cash boost.Clapping business people

£65 million government cash injection to help make the UK the global home for future technologies in battery development, robotics and advanced healthcare treatments

part of the funding will go towards the development of robots that inspect, maintain and repair nuclear power stations, satellites and wind turbines

the extension of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund will help the UK build back better by transitioning to a low carbon economy and developing solutions for an ageing society

Future technologies that could transform people’s lives such as high-performance batteries for electric vehicles, advanced medical treatments and robotics will receive a £65 million government cash boost today (Thursday 10 September).

The funding will be available through the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which has been extended today to help develop solutions to some of the biggest global challenges, including climate change and tackling diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Of the investment announced today:

nearly £44 million 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 first-of-its-kind UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, in Coventry, West Midlands, creating 100 high-skilled jobs. Organisations across the automotive, rail and aerospace sectors will have access a unique battery production facility combining manufacturing, experimentation and innovation

£15 million to enable universities, research organisations and businesses to build robots to 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, including ones that can operated remotely and make contact-free deliveries or move hospital beds.

£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 in the NHS. These cell and gene based therapies are aimed at the treatment of life-limiting and inherited diseases such as cancer, Duchenne muscular dystrophy or cystic fibrosis.

Established in 2017, the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is delivering £2.6 billion of government investment with the aim of funding world-leading research and highly innovative businesses to address the biggest industrial and societal challenges.

Today’s announcement 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.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said:

“We want to build back better by putting the UK at the forefront of new technologies to create high-skilled jobs, increase productivity and grow the economy as we recover from coronavirus.

This new funding will strengthen the UK’s global status in a range of areas, including battery technologies for electric vehicles and robotics, helping us develop innovative solutions to some of our biggest global challenges and creating jobs in rewarding careers right across the country.”

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