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New Agri-robotics Centre to Be Developed in Lincoln

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The UK's first global centre of excellence in agri-robotics research will be created at the University of Lincoln, with Government providing a significant grant.

The newly established Agri-Robotics will become a major research centre bringing together world-leading expertise in robotics, artificial intelligence and agriculture, all of which will be based on the university's working farm.

The University of Lincoln is already working on developing the next generation of robots needed for agri-food production, with the aim to streamline and maximise processes throughout the entire food industry.

The Government's E3 Fund is designed to support the strategic expansion of outstanding research units and departments in universities across England.

Lincoln's Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, professor Andrew Hunter said: "Agri-food is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK - twice the scale of automotive and aerospace combined - supporting a food chain which generates a Gross Value Added (GVA) of £113bn, with 3.9m employees in a truly international industry."

"It is widely agreed that robotics will transform the food and farming industries in the coming years, as producers adapt to meet significantly increased global demand, but there is still so much research and development to be done. The creation of Lincoln Agri-Robotics is therefore extremely timely and positions Lincolnshire, and the UK, at the leading edge of research innovations in this truly global industry. RAAI technologies will facilitate a step change in agricultural productivity while reducing environmental impact, and this new centre of excellence will be at the forefront of that change."

The £6.4 million grant will enable the university to establish headquarters for the research centre, as well as develop state-of-the-art facilities, which are to be used by world-leading researchers and academic experts.