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THE COMPLETE VISION SOLUTION FOR 3D SCANNING AND INSPECTION


American automation association A3, said: ‘Coming out of this, we expect to see an increased adoption [of automation] in many industries.’ He did acknowledge, however, that the vision industry could suffer the impacts of this crisis for a while. Te UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network


(KTN) was set up to help the innovation landscape. Matthew Wasley, knowledge transfer manager, photonics, believes that one of the biggest challenges, regardless of Covid-19, is funding. He explained: ‘We often come across a technology from a university or an R&D lab, which accelerates up to a certain point, and you can get grant funding, and then it stops because essentially what the government can fund is limited. It reaches a point where it needs private investment to take over.’ Tis is usually overcome, said Wasley, by


companies biting the bullet and investing, or by alternative solutions such as the innovation loans pilot scheme, via the UK government innovation agency, Innovate UK. Initially launched in 2017 for a period of two years, the scheme was extended in 2019 with a further £25m made available. Alternatively, there is the venture capital option to take things further. ‘Obviously, products do get out there,’ he said.


www.imveurope.com | @imveurope


‘Most companies have been able to get on with it and get into their factories or labs’


Back in the lab In terms of the pandemic, Wasley has witnessed a few ways in which the industry has been impacted. ‘Te experience from people I talk to is that most companies have been able to get on with it and get into their factories or labs. Tere have been some issues with clarity at the start, as to whether they could do that, but they have kept going. Te academic institutes have found it much more difficult.’ Tis has led to manufacturers waiting on the academic institutions involved with their R&D, as they were unable to get into their laboratories. ‘Tat’s starting to get moving again,’ Wasley said, but one of the biggest hurdles thrown at the industry by Covid-19, takes us back to investment. ‘Te lack of face-to-face meetings,’


he said, ‘has slowed down investor confidence, but everybody is in the same boat. In fact, there are some fields where g


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