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Network launched as West of England bids to become UK's leading robotics region

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Written by: Hannah Baker | Posted 27 April 2018 13:57

Network launched as West of England bids to become UK's leading robotics region

Heads of industry, entrepreneurs and academics have joined forces to create a new network aimed at establishing the West of England as the country’s leading region for robotics.

The West of England Robotics Network will bring together multinational technology firms, start-ups, small and medium-sized businesses, roboticists, researchers and user communities to become the region’s focal point for robotics and autonomous systems.

Launched at UWE Bristol’s University Enterprise Zone, the network will support the formation and development of existing and new robotics companies and supply chains, and strengthen the region’s flourishing high-tech cluster.

Members of the network will connect to generate opportunities for collaboration, access knowledge and talent, attract investment and boost trade links.

Read more: Demand for science and tech skills in South West rising year on year

Alison Wilmot, network co-ordinator, said: “Founded on a long and distinguished history as a hub of entrepreneurial excellence and technological innovation, the West of England has strengths in creative and digital, advanced manufacturing and aerospace, low carbon, healthcare and high-tech sectors.

“We want to bring together people from these and other interested communities to create and share opportunities in developing robotics and autonomous systems markets.

David Lennard, network manager, said: “Robotics represents a huge opportunity for the West of England, which is well placed with its underlying expertise.”

The region currently has one of Europe’s largest academic research laboratories (Bristol Robotics Laboratory) and supports a wide range of industrial sectors that use robotics and autonomous systems technologies.

Read more: Number of new tech companies being launched in South West rises

 

Big, influential businesses such as Dyson, Airbus, Toshiba, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce all have a keen interest in these technologies.

David added: “It is vital that the West of England builds and protects its position as a leader in this area if it is to remain competitive in national and international markets.”

The Network is run by Bristol Robotics Laboratory and supported by Invest Bristol and Bath, and South Gloucestershire Council.

Membership is free of charge and the  network will  meet from time to time both informally and formally, in response to member needs.

Visit westofenglandroboticsnetwork.org for more information.

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