Bristol Robotics Laboratory hosted the inaugural meeting of a new Board of Trade as the facility welcomed leading politicians from across the UK. The laboratory at the University of the West of England's Frenchay campus was the venue for the launch of the Board, established to help boost exports, attract inward investors and ensure the benefits of free trade are spread equally across the country. International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox is the Board's President and he was joined by Minister of State for Trade Policy, Greg Hands, Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns, and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chloe Smith. Advisers from across the United Kingdom were also present, providing local expertise to guide the Board on trade and investment matters.
They included Collette Roche, Chief of Staff at Manchester Airport, former President of the Board of Trade, Patricia Hewitt and Ian Curle CEO of the Edrington Group, one of Scotland's leading premium spirits companies and producers of The Famous Grouse whisky. Ahead of the meeting, the politicians and advisers received a tour of the laboratory including the Assisted Living Studio, drone aerial zone, technology incubator and driverless car workshop. Bristol Robotics Laboratory is a collaborative partnership between UWE Bristol and the University of Bristol. The lab, which brings together over 200 academics, researchers and industry practitioners, is the most comprehensive academic centre for multi-disciplinary robotics research in the UK, and is spearheading Britain's efforts to become a world leader in modern advanced robotics.