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UWE provides robotics support for West of England SMEs

  • By Neil Martin
  • News


A new £1 million initiative from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) is giving businesses and entrepreneurs across the West of England an opportunity to trial, adopt and develop robotics and smart automation solutions.

The SABRE Programme, based in the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL), will help SMEs from any sector to explore the benefits of these technologies, and to identify the most appropriate robotic equipment for their organisation.

“We are very excited about the opportunities this new initiative presents for BRL to support a diverse range of innovative businesses,” says Professor Chris Melhuish, Director of BRL.

“It complements our existing business portfolio, including our Hardware Incubator (desk-space and support for early-stage tech businesses) and the West of England Robotics Network (an open access community offering networking and events to anyone interested in robotics).”

Located in BRL’s RIFBristol innovation facility, SABRE will utilise a range of cutting-edge technical equipment and leading engineering expertise.

“SABRE will work with SMEs from across Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire – providing them with hands-on assistance, tailored to their individual research and development challenges,” says Farid Dailami, Associate Professor for Knowledge Exchange in Manufacturing and Director of RIFBristol.

“Our free two-day workshops provide a safe and supportive environment in which participants can learn the practical basics of  operating robots. They also help to de-risk the purchase and integration of equipment by ensuring SMEs can make informed investment decisions.”

“Our TDPs are awarded on a competitive basis, following the submission of applications that are reviewed by an assessment panel. They can have durations ranging from five days to 12 weeks, and are tailored to the particular needs of individual businesses.

“Successful applicants can undertake their TDP in our workspace in UWE Bristol’s University Enterprise Zone, where they will be supported by professionals with knowledge and skills in disciplines such as robotics, mechanics, electronics, mechatronics and control systems.”

The SABRE Programme is part-financed through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It forms part of UWE Bristol’s portfolio of ERDF-funded initiatives, which incorporates the Launch Space graduate start-up incubator, the Health Tech Hub innovation facility, the Scale Up 4 Growth project and the Network for Creative Enterprise.

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