The Duke of York has opened the University of the West of England Bristol new Future Space facility and came face-to-face with a robot spider.
Prince Andrew spoke to local business leaders as he opened the facility designed for technology start ups and small businesses. The Future Space hopes to connect entrepreneurs with scientists, researchers and graduates.
Prince Andrew said: “So much of what I see when I travel around the country is people trying to do what they can in order to encourage innovation and encourage people to come out of the university sector or from any sector of the education environment in order to use their intellectual property and their intellectual skills, in order to start businesses, build businesses and then try to find ways to add value.
During his visit to Bristol, the Prince also took a tour of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory. He met the founder of Reach Robotics, who developed MekaMon an intelligent gaming robot. Reach Robotics, based in Bristol, recently received an impressive £5.8 million in funding.
Since the Prince launched Pitch@Palace in 2014 it has helped more than 400 companies and created over 800 new jobs.
His visit was part of Pitch@Palace on tour. Entrepreneurs who impress the judges will progress to boot camp in a fight to pitch their business ideas to an influential group of investors, business leaders and angels.
Professor Steve West, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of West of England Bristol said that: “We are delighted to be hosting Pitch@Palace. It is a highly successful initiative keenly focused on the benefits offered by effective collaboration and innovation, a focus very much shared by our university.
Prince Andrew said: “Pitch@Palace is designed to support, enhance and add value to start up and scale up companies by providing a platform for entrepreneurs and audiences to meet, network and hear the great ideas that are being commercialised and built by the next generation of entrepreneurs.”