Additional investment in robotics and automation could have a major positive impact on both UK manufacturing and the wider economy.
UK manufacturing is often accused of under-investing in robotics and other forms of automation, compared to other developed economies. There has been widespread speculation that this lack of investment could be one factor behind the UK 'productivity puzzle'.
The UK was ranked 19th worldwide in 2012 in terms of robot density in the manufacturing sector with a level barely above the global average. The UK automotive industry, for example, has been shown to b operating with half as many robots as those used in Germany, regularly cited as the European industry standard-bearer for automation.