This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), to support the development of the UK’s National Robotics Proving Ground.

The aim of the competition is to develop:

  • initial operating concepts
  • system architectures
  • specifications
  • visualisations
  • supporting systems and equipment
  • challenge prize competitions
  • other novel ideas

The outputs from this short competition will inform UKRI what type of facilities can be developed with capital infrastructure funding and the scale of the funding required. Subject to approval of future funding, further support would be available from the UKRI infrastructure fund to develop concepts into real world construction and use.

Any adoption and implementation of a solution from this competition would be subject to a separate, competitive, procurement or grant funding exercise. This competition does not cover the purchase of any solution.

Projects must start by 1 February 2022 and end by 31 March 2022.

To lead a project, you must:

A total of up to £500,000, inclusive of VAT, is allocated to this competition.

Contracts awarded will be up to £75,000, inclusive of VAT, for each project. Innovate UK expect to fund between 5 and 10 projects.

Your application must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively to R&D services, including solution exploration and design. R&D can also include prototyping and field-testing the product or service.

Innovate UK is seeking capital infrastructure funding from the UKRI infrastructure fund, to develop National Robotics Proving Ground facilities. The facilities would aim to accelerate the development and adoption of a new generation of service robotics.

There are a wide variety of ways in which such facilities could be delivered across different locations in the UK.

This competition gives organisations an opportunity to develop and share their visions for how such a facility could be realised, and what its technical capabilities would need to be.

Your proposal must be for a project that delivers a short feasibility study working towards one or more of this competitions specific themes.

Your project can focus one or more of the following:

  • architectural and system concept visualisations
  • testing and instrumentation equipment capabilities or specifications
  • robotics testing procedure specifications
  • concepts for rapidly reconfigurable testing environments
  • technologies to enable nationwide or worldwide remote access of robots and robotic testing infrastructure
  • technologies to enable digital simulation or emulation based robotics testing environments, digital twins or synthetic environments
  • high-level operating concepts, outlining how your organisation or consortium would develop a robotics proving ground and what its capabilities would be
  • a challenge prize competition design that uses the robotics proving ground facilities

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

An online briefing will be held from 9.30am-12.30pm on Thursday 14th October: click here to register for a place. A recording will be available on the KTN website later.

If you would like help to find a partner, contact KTN’s Robotics team.