The UK government today announced GBP65 million (USD84 million) of investment in future technologies, including GBP15 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.(Image: UK government)
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said the funding will be available through the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which has been extended to help develop solutions to some of the biggest global challenges, including climate change and tackling diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's.
Nearly GBP44 million is 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 airplanes. The funding will also be used to complete a UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, in Coventry. Another GBP6.5 million will be allocated to the Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre network to accelerate patient access to cell and gene based therapies.
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."
Established in 2017, the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is providing GBP2.6 billion of government investment with the aim of funding world-leading research and highly innovative businesses to address the biggest industrial and societal challenges.
BEIS said that today's announcement is part of 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.
Researched and written by World Nuclear News