The National Robotarium wins Project of the Year at Learning Places Scotland Awards



The National Robotarium one of Heriot-Watt's Global Research Institutes

Heriot-Watt University’s National Robotarium facility for robotics and AI took home the Project of the Year prize at this year’s Learning Places Scotland awards, held on 14 November in Glasgow. The awards, delivered in partnership with the Scottish Government as part of Scottish Learning Estates strategy, are an annual celebration of Scotland’s growing learning estate, recognising facilities that are making strides in sustainability, technology and student experience.

Supported by £21 million from the UK Government and £1.4m from the Scottish Government as part of the £1.3bn Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, the National Robotarium officially opened in September 2022. Since then, the facility has been a catalyst for bridging knowledge between science and business, delivering sustainable economic benefit to Scotland and the UK through its expanding portfolio of industry partnerships that are developing new robotic technologies to address real-world and sectoral challenges.

Designed with sustainability at its heart, the 40,000ft² facility itself offers unrivalled learning spaces, allowing Heriot-Watt to maximise its AI and robotics strengths and lead the field in research. It boasts a variety of flexible spaces and test beds for specialist research, student projects, public engagement, and industry collaborations across three distinct themes; Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS), Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), and Precision Laser Applications (PLA).

The estates and projects team at Heriot-Watt, along with external consultants Michael Laird Architects and Atkins Realis, who collected the award on the night, were recognised for their collaborative efforts in creating an advanced and sustainable centre for the advancement of research and learning in robotics and Artificial Intelligence.

The success of the project and its construction, enduring challenges such as the Covid pandemic and Brexit-related supply issues, was the result of extensive stakeholder engagement, ensuring the building met the requirements of individual teams and research areas, and accommodated emerging technologies through its flexible, fabric-first design.

More on the awards.


Louise Jack | Communications Manager