New £4 million micro-scale robotic fashion production facility to develop high-value, low volume UK garment industry

A new fashion research facility to help support micro-scale fashion businesses using robotic technologies for more sustainable production is being developed at Manchester Fashion Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The Robotics Living Lab (RoLL), which was awarded £3.8m by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to build and equip the new facility, will enable new research into highly responsive sustainable approaches for UK garment manufacturers.

Fashion researchers, designers and manufacturers will be able to use RoLL to collaborate and make use of robotic technologies with a focus on creating high-value, low-volume fashion production in the UK.

RoLL will conceive, test, and develop new tooling solutions – creating new stitching, cutting, pressing and repair tools - to support small fashion design businesses in using innovative manufacturing processes for more sustainable production.

The facility will also encourage new forms of research partnerships, enable fashion research to inform policy on carbon neutral manufacturing, and support Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s 2038 target for net zero manufacturing.

The funding was announced by Science and Technology Secretary Chloe Smith as part of £103m investment into digital research and infrastructure.

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