Robotics and AI: inspect, maintain and repair in extreme environments

Fund Name: Inspect, maintain and repair in extreme environments
Project Length: It must start by January 2019 and be completed by March 2021.
Project Value: Total costs between £2 million and £6 million
Deadline: 11/07/2018


The challenge is to develop technologies and systems that make unmanned operation the standard approach in areas such as off-shore energy, nuclear energy, mining and space.

In this competition individuals can apply to take part, on behalf of their organisation, in a 5-day residential Innovation Lab, which will run from 10 to 14 September 2018. The attendees will work together to develop collaborative proposals for research and innovation projects.

Fund Use

The aim of the Innovation Lab is to generate innovative and commercially viable new ideas.

The process and activities within the Innovation Lab may be unconventional, challenging and unexpected. By submitting an application you are agreeing to take part fully, enthusiastically and constructively.

The final project proposals created during the event can be for industrial research or experimental development.

Your final proposal must focus on solutions that:

1. aim to make unmanned operations the standard for inspecting, maintaining and repairing physical infrastructures

2.operate in infrastructure types such as off-shore energy, nuclear energy, mining and space, and ideally in more than one

3.operate safely, efficiently, over long periods of time and without maintenance

4.follow all appropriate industrial standards and system engineering principles

Innovate UK  are particularly encouraging applications from applicants who can contribute to developing the following areas:

  • improved robotic structural capabilities
  • re-formable structures
  • long-range and beyond visual line of sight (BVLoS) operations
  • electronics, sensors and photonics for extreme environments
  • AI, autonomy and situational awareness
  • mission planning and risk management
  • systems engineering, including verification and validation tools and methodologies
  • security, reliability, safety and trus
  • collaborative RAI systems
  • long endurance operations
  • modules supporting increased dexterity
  • locomotion platforms for extreme environments

Innovate UK have allocated up to £15 million to fund projects developed based on Innovation Lab proposals. We expect each project to have total costs between £2 million and £6 million.


To apply to attend the Innovation Lab you must:

  • commit to attending all 5 days on a residential basis at the nominated UK location (to be announced in the next few weeks)
  • show you are able to work collaboratively and have the relevant skills, expertise and experience to represent your organisation
  • describe the financial and other resources your organisation can commit
  • be from an organisation that is eligible to submit a project proposal

If you are chosen to attend the Innovation Lab you will need to sign a confidentiality agreement and return it by 7 September 2018. This is to protect existing intellectual property (IP) and to allow full disclosure of expertise and capabilities at the Innovation Lab.

We are looking for a broad range of disciplines and backgrounds, bringing together people who would not normally work together, ensuring the equality, diversity and inclusion of participants.

Get in Touch

If you think that you might be eligible for this fund, please Get In Touch by filling out the contact form below.

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