Interservewins contract to build robotics and AI centre at University of York


nterserve Group Limited, the international support services, construction and equipment group, has been appointed by the

University of York to build a new research centre as part of its £35 million investment by the York Global Initiative for Safe Autonomy. The £10.4m contract will involve Interserve Construction in the

development of specialist laboratories and testing facilities, which will be used to investigate everything from driverless cars, to hospital robots, to ensuring that robots and artificial intelligence (AI) are safe. The York Global Initiative for Safe Autonomy, based on the

Heslington East campus, is expected to help strengthen the UK’s position as a leader in the safe introduction of advanced technology. It will bring together industrial partners and world experts in the field, housing up to 100 researchers and support staff. Work on the new building, which will include a rooftop lab and

specialist robotics design and testing equipment, will begin in November 2020 and it will open in 2021. Interserve Construction has a long-standing relationship with the

University of York having previously delivered a range of facilities including the Hull York Medical School, the £27 million Piazza Learning Centre and the redevelopment of the Heslington campus. The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund is providing £10.5 million,

with £24.5 million secured through match funding from industrial and philanthropic partners. Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Saul Tendler said: “The investment

represents a significant vote of confidence in the university and the region and confirms our position as one of the world’s premier institutions for inspirational and life-changing research. We are already leading the way in this hugely important area with researchers across multiple departments working together to advance the safe introduction of robotics and connected autonomous systems across the globe.”

John Gittins, Divisional Director, Interserve Construction said: “Our work

with the York Global Initiative for Safe Autonomy underscores our capabilities in delivering world class education and research facilities across the UK. “We are delighted to be working once again with one of the world’s

premier institutions for life-changing research. This is the latest of several projects we have delivered with the University of York and we remain very proud of our association with one of the north’s leading education and research universities.”

Smart thinking when it comes to extra space S

mart-Space is working as quickly and efficiently as ever, helping schools and colleges to fulfil their requirements for additional space

through the supply of instant buildings. Space is always at a premium in schools but never quite so much as

right now as we continue to face ever-changing circumstances, government guidelines and a strong, nationwide desire to keep students in education. Luckily Smart-Space is used to tight deadlines and working safely and mindfully within education settings of all kinds. Smart-Space has continually developed its portfolio of buildings to

reflect the changing needs of its education sector customers. Earlier this year a portable, pop-up classroom was developed to add to the range of large temporary and permanent buildings. The selection of buildings means that advice is always tailored exactly to the school’s requirements and never just a case of supplying stock items. The company has come to the rescue of many schools with temporary

buildings and classrooms as well as permanent design and build projects, usually working with the school and sometimes with a number of stakeholders, to deliver exactly what is needed. Its website is full of successful installation stories and headteacher and site manager testimonials. Continuing the theme of topical

news, Smart-Space is also well placed in advance of Brexit Day, 1st January 2021, as it uses a UK supply chain and has worked with local businesses for its 30+ years, making sure orders are completed on time as stocks are tangibly close –


either in stock or waiting at suppliers’ premises, right on the doorstep. It’s well worth knowing what your options are by getting in touch with

Jason, Sales Director, or one of the Midlands-based team who are welcoming, friendly and totally transparent when it comes to what’s possible and how much it’ll cost. The flexibility offered is outstanding – you can change from renting to purchasing, change the rental term and even enjoy having no minimum rental period. The Smart-Space buildings go up really quickly, in a matter of days, and can be removed just as quickly. November 2020

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