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Frontier IP Group - Portfolio news – Fieldwork SIF grant

RNS Number : 3425F
Frontier IP Group plc
16 November 2020



16 November  2020


Frontier IP Group Plc

("Frontier IP" or the "Group")



Portfolio news - Innovate UK backs Fieldwork Robotics with Sustainable Innovation Fund grant to support work through pandemic


Frontier IP, a specialist in commercialising intellectual property, today announces that Innovate UK, the UK's innovation agency, has awarded portfolio company Fieldwork Robotics ("Fieldwork" or the "Company") a £145,000 grant from the Sustainable Innovation Fund.


The grant, which has been supplemented by a further £30,000 from Fieldwork, will support the Company to accelerate the development of its current robot, helping to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company. Frontier IP holds a 26.7 per cent equity stake in the Company.


Fieldwork will use the funding to create a digital simulator of its robotics technology. Among other advantages, the simulator will allow engineers to work remotely during lockdowns and optimise internal processes to reduce prototyping costs.  An alpha prototype for manufacturability of its raspberry-harvesting robot is expected for trials in spring next year.


The move marks a deepening in Fieldwork's relationship with industry partner Bosch, which will be supporting the Company on the simulator development. 


The Sustainable Innovation Fund grant follows the award of an £84,000 Innovate UK continuity grant to support work through COVID-19 in September 2020. Fieldwork's costs, including those for raw materials, have risen during the pandemic.


In addition, Fieldwork announced it had won a £547,250 Innovate UK Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund grant in April 2019 to accelerate development of its technology, part of a £671,484 project, whose other partners included the University of Plymouth and the National Physical Laboratory.


The Company has made strong progress during 2020:


·    October: completed a third set of field trials of the raspberry harvesting robot with a leading soft fruit grower

·    September: announced a three-year project in partnership with Bonduelle, one of the world's leading vegetable producers to develop a cauliflower-harvesting version of the technology

·    July: announced a collaboration with Robert Bosch Limited to optimise the robot's arms and software to reduce cost and increase speed.

·    January: raised £298,000 through an initial equity funding round.   


The Company is also progressing in developing further applications of the technology for agriculture.


Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £191 million to fund single and collaborative research and development projects as part of the Sustainable Innovation Fund over the next two years. The aim of these competitions is to help all sectors of the UK rebuild after the effects of COVID-19.

The Sustainable Innovation Fund is funding 1,103 projects, 1,189 UK businesses and totalling over £130 million in support across the UK.

Innovate UK Executive Chair Dr Ian Campbell said: "In these difficult times we have seen the best of British business innovation. The pandemic is not just a health emergency but one that impacts society and the economy.

"Fieldwork Robotics along with every initiative Innovate UK has supported through this fund, is an important step forward in driving sustainable economic development. Each one is also helping to realise the ambitions of hard-working people."


Rui Andres, Fieldwork Robotics Chief Executive Officer, said: "Innovate UK has been following our work closely, and we are very grateful for the continued support. This grant will allow us to build a tool that will save us time and money, while mitigating the effects of COVID-19. The Bosch collaboration has been invaluable, and we are very keen to keep developing our work together. And finally, this grant helps to reduce our carbon footprint, minimising the amount of plastic we require for the development of our robots."


Neil Crabb, Frontier IP Chief Executive Officer, said: "We are delighted to see this continued validation of Fieldwork's technology by government and industry. Innovate UK has been a consistent supporter of the Company, while Bosch's work on the simulator marks a further step up in the relationship. "






Fieldwork Robotics

Rui Andres, Chief Executive                                                                  info@fieldworkrobotics.com


Frontier IP Group Plc

T: 020 7332 2338

Neil Crabb, Chief Executive

Andrew Johnson, Communications & Investor Relations

Company website: www.frontierip.co.uk


M: 07464 546 025

Allenby Capital Limited (Nominated Adviser)

T: 0203 328 5656

Nick Athanas / James Hornigold







ABout frontier IP

Frontier IP unites science and commerce by identifying strong intellectual property and accelerating its development through a range of commercialisation services. A critical part of the Group's work is involving relevant industry partners at an early stage of development to ensure technology meets real world demands and needs.

The Group looks to build and grow a portfolio of equity stakes and licence income by taking an active involvement in spin-out companies, including support for fund raising and collaboration with relevant industry partners at an early stage of development.

Frontier IP is the commercialisation partner for the University of Plymouth.



The University of Plymouth is renowned for high quality, internationally-leading education, research and innovation.


With a mission to Advance Knowledge and Transform Lives, Plymouth is a *top 50 research university with clusters of world class research across a wide range of disciplines including marine science and engineering, medicine, cybersecurity and psychology. A three-time winner of the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education, most recently in 2020 in respect of its pioneering research on microplastics pollution in the oceans and its impact on the environment and changing behaviour, the University continues to grow in stature and reputation.


It has a strong track record for teaching and learning excellence, and has one of the highest numbers of National Teaching Fellows of any UK university. With over 19,000 students, and a further 9,500 studying for a Plymouth degree at partner institutions in the UK and around the world, and over 135,000 alumni pursuing their chosen careers globally, it has a growing global presence.


* Research Fortnight Research Power League Table 2014.


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