The Government support and encourage investment through a range of measures including tax incentives (e.g. capital allowances) and through business support schemes such as Selective Finance for Investment in England and its equivalent in the devolved administrations. In addition the Technology Strategy Board supports innovation and collaborative research and development into leading edge technologies including robotics and automation. The most recent competition under the Technology Programme announced on 8 November by John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, seeks proposals to develop new high value manufacturing techniques to secure the nation’s future manufacturing base with research on the next generation of production techniques. We are also aware that the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is currently supporting 19 robotics assembly and automated handling projects with funding of over £10.5 million.
My Department has no policy on the appropriate levels of company expenditure on industrial robots. Government encourages and supports business investment through a range of policy measures but company investment decisions of this nature are a commercial matter for individual companies.