Robotics lab in Motherwell granted £200k funding from North Lanarkshire Council

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The robotics lab has been granted £200k in funding from North Lanarkshire Council, as well as a further £250k from New College Lanarkshire to ensure research continues into 2025

A high-tech training facility in Motherwell is helping to develop expertise in the field of robotics.

Councillors have agreed that Smart Hub Lanarkshire, a project jointly developed by North Lanarkshire Council with New College Lanarkshire and the University of Strathclyde, should continue until March 2025.

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This hub comprises a robotics and automation training facility as dedicated space providing support for small to medium manufacturing businesses.

The project was one of twelve to successfully bid for funding from the Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund, with an award of almost £300,000. The council has paid almost £200,000 with the college investing a further £250,000.

This funding was awarded in 2020 but the project was delayed by Covid-19, restricted access to the campus and issues with recruiting suitably qualified management.

However almost 2,000 people have now used SHL, including school pupils and employees from various companies, while an additional grant of almost £80,000 has been received from Scottish Enterprise. This has allowed a year-long trial with cobots – cooperative robots designed to interact directly with humans – and involved twelve companies, most of which have already invested in or intend to invest in this technology.

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Researchers show off ‘Cobots’ to visitors to Smart Hub Lanarkshire run by New College Lanarkshire - co-operative robots that are designed to interact with humansResearchers show off ‘Cobots’ to visitors to Smart Hub Lanarkshire run by New College Lanarkshire - co-operative robots that are designed to interact with humans
Researchers show off ‘Cobots’ to visitors to Smart Hub Lanarkshire run by New College Lanarkshire - co-operative robots that are designed to interact with humans | Contributed

Phase Two of this project will use funds from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to secure the hub’s future until 2025.

A detailed financial plan will now be agreed with the college, which will be in charge of delivering the project.

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