Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Hubs in Extreme and Challenging (Hazardous) Environments

Please note: This is an expression of interest with specific requirements. Applicants must read the call document and provide the detail requested as part of the expression of interest. This funding call is part of the Government's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF). This is not a standard EPSRC funding call and the remit is unique to this call. Dates may be subject to change. EPSRC may mandate a specific spend profile across the duration of the programme and prior to EPSRC awarding the grants, all Hubs must undertake to start spend on 2 October 2017.

Call information

Innovate UK, EPSRC and NERC are working closely together to deliver an integrated programme investigating the development and deployment of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (RAI) systems in extreme environments as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).

The ambition of the programme is to develop robotic solutions to make a safer working environment in industries such as off-shore energy, nuclear energy, space and deep mining, which will increase productivity and open up new cross disciplinary opportunities which are not currently available.

The programme is split into three separate elements, which will be delivered in parallel to provide connectivity across both research and innovation strands. The full programme will be strategically managed to meet the overall RAI challenge.

The four year RAI investment will address challenges in off-shore energy, nuclear energy, space and deep mining, and will include:

  • Use-inspired research Hubs with specific partnership resource, to drive and accelerate translation of fundamental science in Robotics and AI systems (This call led by EPSRC);
  • Innovation programme to support collaborative research and development with co-investment from industry (This call will be led by Innovate UK) and;
  • Demonstrator programme to allow companies to test these systems in world-class facilities across the UK (This call will be led by Innovate UK).

EPSRC is inviting Expressions of Interest (EoI) for four Use-inspired research Hubs in the area of RAI for Extreme and Challenging (Hazardous) Environments to address the programme ambition.

How to apply

Expression of Interest followed by invite to full proposal.

Please note that expression of interest will need to be accompanied with a four page case of support, a one-page CV of the principal investigator and a one page letter of support from the lead University.

Applicants should submit their Expression of Interest through the embedded form further down this page. Applicants will need to email to obtain the survey password.

Expression of Interest must be received by 15 June 2017 at 16:00 and must contain the required documents as outlined in the call document.

Assessment Process

EoIs will be assessed by an expert peer review panel using the assessment criteria stated in the call document. Successful EoIs will be invited submit a full proposal. Full proposals will also be assessed by an expert peer review panel followed by interview. There will be no postal peer review.

Key Dates:

Activity Date
EOI stage opens 18 May 2017
EOI stage closes 15 June 2017
EOI panel decision 3 July 2017
Full Proposal call closes 24 August 2017
Interview Panel During week starting 18 September 2017
Funding Decisions Late September 2017
Grant Start Date 02 October 2017


For general enquiries related to this call please email: