Despite the UK's acknowledged strength in innovation there are often concerns that the funding for its development does not enable us to develop its commerciality. Recent Governments have attempted to tackle this but it is always going to be challenging to ensure that sufficent funding can be spread across all of the relevant sectors. By announcing key focus areas as the last Government did it was to be hoped that the position might have improved but its funding programmes may not have been suffiently flexible to accomodate changes in the market.
Dr Aldo Faisal, senior lecturer in neurotechnology at Imperial is quoted in the FT “Getting funding for robot hardware for research is very difficult in the UK,” he says. “The research councils have restrictive co-funding rules relating to the cost of hardware, which makes it less attractive to universities.”