RACE extension funding announced

UKAEA will continue to be at the forefront of UK robotics after Chris Skidmore MP announced funding for a £3m extension to its RACE research facility. It will allow the RACE workforce to expand by more than 50 per cent and provide the opportunity to increase collaboration with both academic and industry partners on some of the latest state-of-the-art robotics equipment and testing facilities.

UKAEA will continue to be at the forefront of UK robotics after Chris Skidmore MP announced funding for a £3m extension to its RACE research facility. It will allow the RACE workforce to expand by more than 50 per cent and provide the opportunity to increase collaboration with both academic and industry partners on some of the latest state-of-the-art robotics equipment and testing facilities.


Like the current RACE building, the extension is open-plan and will also have a range of separate project workspaces. It will see the workforce at RACE grow from 160 to 250.


Existing partnerships with industry have already seen RACE partner with companies testing solutions for the international nuclear fusion project ITER, decommissioning technology for the wider nuclear industry, driverless cars and ground robots.


One example of how the new extension will strengthen existing collaborations is seen in RACE’s involvement with the Robotics and Artificial Intelligence for Nuclear (RAIN) programme. This is part of UKRI – the UK’s Research and Innovation funding body. RAIN focuses on robotics for UK nuclear decommissioning projects alongside the University of Manchester, Sellafield and additional partners. It is in support of the Nuclear Sector Deal ambition of 20% reduction in decommissioning costs.


The investment in the RACE building follows on from strong recent government investment in UKAEA’s fusion research activities at Culham, including the new Fusion Technology Facilities, H3AT tritium test facility and OAS apprentice training centre.


Rob Buckingham said: “This investment in the RACE extension is great news for UK robotics. Remote operations is mission critical for a fusion power plant and is becoming increasingly important for a variety of industrial sectors from mining to agriculture to offshore and space. As a national lab working in pre-commercial space part of our role is to collaborate with academia and industry to demonstrate solutions. The RACE extension will provide more space for 3rd parties to work alongside the growing RACE team. Our ambition is create a globally relevant cluster with a viable innovation pipeline with output that changes management and investment decisions”


RACE extension funding announced

UKAEA will continue to be at the forefront of UK robotics after Chris Skidmore MP announced funding for a £3m extension to its RACE research facility. It will allow the RACE workforce to expand by more than 50 per cent and provide the opportunity to increase collaboration with both academic and industry partners on some of the latest state-of-the-art robotics equipment and testing facilities.


Like the current RACE building, the extension is open-plan and will also have a range of separate project workspaces. It will see the workforce at RACE grow from 160 to 250.


Existing partnerships with industry have already seen RACE partner with companies testing solutions for the international nuclear fusion project ITER, decommissioning technology for the wider nuclear industry, driverless cars and ground robots.


One example of how the new extension will strengthen existing collaborations is seen in RACE’s involvement with the Robotics and Artificial Intelligence for Nuclear (RAIN) programme. This is part of UKRI – the UK’s Research and Innovation funding body. RAIN focuses on robotics for UK nuclear decommissioning projects alongside the University of Manchester, Sellafield and additional partners. It is in support of the Nuclear Sector Deal ambition of 20% reduction in decommissioning costs.

The investment in the RACE building follows on from strong recent government investment in UKAEA’s fusion research activities at Culham, including the new Fusion Technology Facilities, H3AT tritium test facility and OAS apprentice training centre.


Rob Buckingham said: “This investment in the RACE extension is great news for UK robotics. Remote operations is mission critical for a fusion power plant and is becoming increasingly important for a variety of industrial sectors from mining to agriculture to offshore and space. As a national lab working in pre-commercial space part of our role is to collaborate with academia and industry to demonstrate solutions. The RACE extension will provide more space for 3rd parties to work alongside the growing RACE team. Our ambition is create a globally relevant cluster with a viable innovation pipeline with output that changes management and investment decisions”