UK Government minister Robin Walker MP has toured Heriot-Watt University’s world-leading robotics facilities amid ongoing work to establish a National Robotarium.
The proposed facility will provide a state-of-the-art environment in which researchers, entrepreneurs and academics will help cultivate a new generation of robotics companies in Scotland and the rest of the UK.
Walker replaced Ian Duncan as under-secretary of state at the Scotland Office last month following Boris Johnson’s selection as Prime Minister.
Plans to establish the National Robotarium were given the green light in December last year. This innovation hub will form part of the ‘Data Driven Innovation’ programme, which aims to make Edinburgh the data capital of Europe.
Supported by more than £300 million in funding, the programme will deliver five innovation hubs across the region; the Bayes Centre, Easter Bush Campus, Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI), the Usher Institute and the Robotarium.
- US biotech company acquires Edinburgh-based life sciences firm
- Student Loans Company launched graduate apprenticeship programme
- NatWest trials voice banking service with Google Assistant
Commenting on his visit, Walker said the facility aims to build on Scotland’s “proud record of innovation” and will help establish the country as a world-leading nation in robotics.
He said: “It was great to hear how the National Robotarium plans are progressing. Through projects like this, the City Regional Deal will help develop Scotland’s world-class higher education and research sector, bring new opportunities and boost economic growth across Edinburgh and the South East of Scotland.
“The UK has a proud record as a world leader in technology and investments such as this one with the UK, Scottish and local government working together with innovative universities. This can build on Scotland’s proud record of innovation to ensure that we lead the world in embracing the opportunities of robotics.”
Being co-located on the Heriot-Watt University campus, the facility will draw upon the resources of both Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh University and will build on the established partnership between the two institutions through the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics.