25 Jul 2024


Salford University wins EU funding for £13m robotics centre

The £12m North of England Robotics Innovation Centre will work with SMEs around the UK

The University of Salford has secured funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support the creation of a £13m centre that will house robotics and manufacturing labs, teaching space and an automotive laboratory.

The North of England Robotics Innovation Centre will serve as a hub for the University’s robotics and automation specialists who plan to work with SMEs around the UK to provide development, design and testing services, and to validate digital innovations. Planned areas of activity include: robotics for intelligent infrastructures; digital automation and supply chain improvement; and health, well-being and care technologies.

Professor Steve Davis, recently promoted to the post of Professor in Advanced Robotics at the University, is researching a new generation biologically-inspired “soft” robots that could work alongside humans in homes and healthcare facilities.

As the UK recovers from the Covid-19 crisis, the centre will help businesses as they look to new technologies to tackle the industrial challenges presented by the pandemic.

“The ERDF funding is a huge achievement for those involved in this project, and a real endorsement of how important the project is, not only for the University, but for all the people whose lives it can impact through innovation in the future,” says Georgina Harris, the University’s director of engineering. “We want to focus on the needs of small and medium-sized industries and work with them, providing the facilities, expertise and equipment, to help them introduce new technologies in innovative ways. The centre will look to develop solutions to problems that can be matured for everyday use – technologies that become ubiquitous, an essential part of how we all work and live.”

The Robotics Innovation Centre is part of a 240-acre regeneration scheme costing £2.5bn, aimed at driving economic and social prosperity in the Salford area over the course of a 10-15-year programme.

Construction work on the Robotics Centre is due to start in September this year.