Topic Groups

Topic Groups


The Network was established in March 2015 with 13 university members who identified 5 key themes that reflected the research groups at the time (details of these areas are outlined in the form below to provide information to staff of our original scope and starting point).

As our membership now stands at 28 universities, we are keenly aware that all of these may no longer apply as they stand.  New areas may need to be established and old ones redefined. Therefore, as a starting point we are requesting all staff, who work in research centres within the UK-RAS Network, to complete this short online form to enable us to gather information on the range and level of interest that we have in various research areas within the network members. 

I would be grateful if you kindly forward this short online form to all relevant staff and students;  this will hopefully generate the kind of engagement we request to get these groups established.


Please note we are only accepting responses from staff who work at member universities. If your institution is not part of the UK-RAS Network you can apply for membership here.

Topic Groups Key Aims:

  • Shape government policy through engagement with the Lords Committee Office; develop and/or maintain robust background knowledge on subject and policy areas; identify specific researchers, for example to act as witnesses or specialist advisers for Committees, as peer reviewers, or as speakers/participants for events; and assist with forward planning and horizon scanning exercises.
  • Identify research gaps to be addressed; establish research projects linking expertise across different fields of RAS; share assets; organise activities and site visits, enhance knowledge transfer and connect different RAS and AI communities.
  • Lead in the production of white papers; and develop new robotics challenges in areas such as defence, nuclear decommissioning and transport.

A key mechanism for these groups will be the establishment of a lead coordinator and deputy, the creation of online forum space through the UK-RAS website and establishment of appropriate information and communication flows to the Network’s governance structure.

The Topic Groups, under the auspices of the UK-RAS Network, will be able to monitor the whole RAS landscape and ensure activities will be in line with national priorities. The Network will be able to offer coordination and cross-promotion and facilitate ‘teaming’ of awarded grants from each group, raising awareness of projects in the wider RAS community. 

Each Topic Group will also be engaged with representatives of the following cross-cutting themes:

Doctoral Training Government Policy Liaison
Capital Facilities & Equipment International Engagement
Industrial Secondments Public Engagement