The RAIN Hub is funded through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), part of the Government’s modern industrial strategy. Through supporting a Hub that is tasked with taking academic research to the nuclear industry, the government is hoping to stimulate the development and application of technology in the real world.
The new Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Chris Skidmore, visited The University of Manchester in December to meet RAIN Director, Barry Lennox, and visit the robotics labs. Researchers showed Chris many of the platforms we have been developing in collaboration with Sellafield, including CARMA and the AVEXIS. Chris also got to experience the developments we are making with Virtual Reality (VR) technology.
In January Chris visited RACE to deliver a speech on UK research and development. He confirmed the Government’s commitment to spend 2.4 per cent of GDP on science and research, and how important this is in delivering the Government’s industrial strategy. Rob Buckingham, RACE Director and RAIN Co-Director, showed Chris some of the ongoing projects at RACE, including the KUKA robotic arms and European JET experiment. RACE has real experience of using remote handling systems within a nuclear environment and are a huge asset to the RAIN Hub.
Two ministerial visits in two months has been a timely reminder of how the RAIN Hub sits within the Government’s industrial strategy, and keeps us moving forwards with real life impact in the industry in mind.