The UK Government has confirmed that it will create a Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) Leadership Council to support this technology and raise the country’s profile internationally in the industry.
The move comes as a response to the RAS Strategy put forward by the sector's Special Interest Group (SIG) last year, which outlined key recommendations for action to stimulate growth in UK’s robotics sector, in the light of mounting competition from countries such as Japan, Korea and the US.
Writing to Professor David Lane and Professor Rob Buckingham, who chair the group, science minister Greg Clark said the government will establish a Leadership Council to act as a mediator between senior leaders in industry, academia and Government. It will provide independent advisory oversight of planning and execution of the strategy.
Vince Cable, business secretary, said: “From driverless cars to life-saving surgery, robotics and autonomous systems are playing an even bigger role in business and our day-to-day lives.
“Our response is clear – we are serious about grasping the full potential of this multi-billion pound industry to help drive local and national growth and are putting in place the mechanism to make this happen.”
UK is in good position to achieve a 10 per cent share of a market estimated to be worth £70bn by 2020, according to the Strategy. Moreover, the projected global impact of RAS technologies is put at $1.9–$6.4tn per year by 2025.
“The Government’s response to the RAS 2020 strategy represents the commitment towards developing the UK’s research and innovation capability in RAS,” Mr Clark wrote.
The response highlighted that funding such as the £19m announced by the Government in the Autumn Statement for integrating driverless cars into everyday life will build the UK’s “world-leading science and engineering base”.