Lord Adonis today welcomed plans for an £84million investment in the latest Artificial Intelligence and smart energy technology.

The chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission said it was “vital” that the country continue to invest in the latest innovations, to make the most of new and existing infrastructure.

Climate Change Minister Claire Perry announced the funding, much of which is from the Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, at the Innovate UK conference in Birmingham.

It includes:

  • Four research hubs to develop robotic technology, to improve safety in offshore wind and nuclear energy – at the Universities of Manchester, Birmingham and Surrey, and at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh;
  • £68million for artificial intelligence and robotics research; and
  • £16million for smart energy systems innovation

The announcement comes after publication of the Government’s plans to upgrade the UK’s smart energy systems, following recommendations set out in the Commission’s Smart Power report.

It also comes ahead of the Commission’s latest study into how new technologies can be used to improve the efficiency of the UK’s infrastructure network – a final report is due before the end of the year.

Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Lord Adonis said:

“If we are to continue to be among the world-leaders in artificial intelligence, it is vital that we invest in the research that will lead to the latest innovations.

“Today’s announcement will help keep the UK at the cutting edge of this new technology, and to put it quickly to use across our infrastructure network.

“And as the costs of offshore wind and other low-carbon energy sources continue to fall, it’s essential we do all we can to realise their full potential – smart energy systems can play an important role in this.”