Robotics and AI: inspect, maintain and repair in extreme environments

Key Features

Individuals can apply to join a 5-day collaborative workshop to develop project proposals to use robotic and AI systems to service infrastructures in challenging environments. Projects will be funded by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of £15 million

Opens: 21st May 2018

Closes: 11th Jul 2018

! This scheme is now closed

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £15 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) in business led collaborations. These will work to develop robotic and artificial intelligence (RAI) systems that remove humans from infrastructure inspection, maintenance and repair in extreme environments.

The challenge is to develop technologies and systems that make unmanned operation the standard approach in areas such as off-shore energy, nuclear energy, mining and space.

In this competition individuals can apply to take part, on behalf of their organisation, in a 5-day residential Innovation Lab, which will run from 10 to 14 September 2018. The attendees will work together to develop collaborative proposals for research and innovation projects.

After the Innovation Lab the developed project collaborations will have 3 weeks to finalise their proposals before submitting them for assessment.

To apply to attend the Innovation Lab you must:

  • commit to attending all 5 days on a residential basis at the nominated UK location (to be announced in the next few weeks)
  • show you are able to work collaboratively and have the relevant skills, expertise and experience to represent your organisation
  • describe the financial and other resources your organisation can commit
  • be from an organisation that is eligible to submit a project proposal

A team of mentors will help with the assessment process on the last day of the Innovation Lab. They will use consistent assessment criteria to decide which teams will be allowed to submit final written project proposals.

To be eligible to submit a final project proposal after the Innovation Lab your organisation must:

  • be a UK based business, academic, charity, public sector organisation or RTO
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from the UK
  • work in collaboration with others (businesses, research base or third sector)
  • involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)

A business must lead the project. Any one business may lead on one application and partner in a further 2 applications. Academics and RTOs can collaborate in any number of applications.

Your project can have total costs between £2 million and £6 million. It must start by January 2019 and be completed by March 2021.

Industrial research projects can claim funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a small business
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 50% if you are a large business

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a small business
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 25% if you are a large business

To find out more about this unique opportunity – click here.