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  1. ITV Report

Funding boost for research into AI & robotics at Manchester University

Credit: Press Association

The University of Manchester has been announced as one of four new hubs to develop research into artificial intelligence and robotics.

It forms part of a £45 million fund with money also going to the University of Birmingham, University of Surrey and Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

Led by Professor Barry Lennox, the hub at the University of Manchester will see £11.9 million being used to develop research to address the challenges facing the nuclear industry, in relation to decommissioning and waste management to fusion, plant life extension and new build.

The Robotics and Artificial Intelligence for Nuclear (RAIN) Hub will work alongside partners at the Universities of Oxford, Liverpool, Sheffield, Nottingham, Lancaster, Bristol and the UKAEA’s RACE centre.

The fund forms part of a wider investment and will develop robots and artificial intelligence able to take on jobs in the freezing depths of the North Sea, dealing with extreme environments in the process of nuclear energy production, the hostile vacuum of space, and heat of deep mining as part of a Government strategy to boost the industrial sector.

These new Robotics Hubs will draw on the country’s research talent to nurture new developments in the field of robotics and provide the foundations on which innovative technologies can be built.

The resulting outcomes from this research will allow us to explore environments that are too dangerous for humans to enter without risking injury or ill-health. The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is helping us achieve a joined up approach to research, discovery and innovation.

– Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council