NETWORKPLUS: UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Plus (UK-RAS+)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Electrical and Electronic Engineering


The EPSRC UK-RAS (Robotics and Autonomous Systems) Network ( was established in 2015 and since its formation, it has provided academic and administrative leadership that has helped transform the UK's robotics research landscape, bringing the RAS community together, strengthening areas of national importance and creating stronger links between academia, industry and government funding bodies. Coordination of public engagement activities and support to government and policy influencing organisations have led to significant investment by research funding agencies (e.g. ISCF Robotic for a Safer World initiative, UKRI Trustworthy Autonomous Systems programme), industry and universities, creating a world-leading, national RAS capability. As the importance of RAS, a critical enabling technology across many sectors of value to the UK, grows, it is vital that UK-RAS continues to strengthen the community, and drive the UK towards world leading research excellence in areas which are of national strategic value. UK-RAS+ will reshape current RAS activities to transform three key pillars of the national RAS ecosystem:

i) Identify, establish and strengthen new fundamental research into RAS: We will drive forward low TRL (technology readiness level) research opportunities with the aim of the UK attaining international leadership in emerging transformational areas.

ii) Internationalisation of RAS: We will connect the UK to overseas networks and individuals, with the aim of influencing world-wide policy, enabling the UK to lead strategically important initiatives and benefit from international experience and expertise.

iii) Enabling Early Career Researchers (ECRs): ECRs are the future of RAS capability in the UK. We will develop the right environments and ecosystems to provide opportunity and support for UK ECRs to become world leading academics.


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