Long-term collaboration with an industrial partner

Long-term collaboration with an industrial partner

Testing in our robotics lab

This case study looks at how an Innovation Voucher from Innovate UK led to a long-term collaboration with an industrial partner.

The Innovation Voucher scheme was created by the South East England Development Agency in order to encourage and facilitate access for local companies to business and improvement support through the region’s universities and public research establishments.

In 2011 Aylesbury Automation Limited won an Innovation Voucher scheme for the development of a purpose designed gripper for healthcare products. The company asked Sheffield Hallam University's Centre for Automation and Robotics Research to help with the development of the gripper. The collaboration proved to be very successful and Aylesbury Automation Limited offered to co-fund a PhD studentship which would focus on researching, designing and testing new and novel gripping solutions for packing flexible materials as part of rapid throughput packaging processes.

This, in turn, led to a joint bid between the Centre for Automation and Robotics and Aylesbury Automation Limited for Technology Strategy Board (TSB) funding for a project which aims at developing innovative composite end effectors for handling lightweight, flexible elastomers.

The bid was successful and the Elastomers project started in October 2013.

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