FIS360 to Provide Commercialisation Mentoring to Next Generation of Marie Curie PhD Students

Following our announcement as associate partner in the RAICAM programme (Robotics and Artificial Intelligence for Critical Asset Monitoring), FIS360 attended a RAICAM event at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) Centre for Robotics and Intelligent Systems in Genoa Italy last week. Having been selected to provide innovation commercialisation support to PhD students from across Europe, this was an opportunity to stimulate thinking amongst the cohort about commercialisation routes and begin shaping the future of RAICAM.

To prepare the PhD cohort for the move from academia to industry, RAICAM has partnered with FIS360 to provide innovation and entrepreneurship workshops, training and mentoring, commencing in 2026. Participants will learn from industry leaders with real-life experience of the challenges they may face, receive advice and feedback on proposals and mock interviews, and be supported to develop strategies in pursuit of commercialising the robotics and AI technologies developed during the course of the programme.

RAICAM, launched in January 2023, is an EU-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Doctoral training network on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence for Critical Asset Monitoring. Recognising that robotics challenges are similar across all sectors, RAICAM is bringing together multidisciplinary PhD individuals and groups to research and address challenges. Rather than working in isolation, a cohort of ten PhD students, across ten universities in Europe, will receive training as part of a Marie Curie Fellowship to work on the next generation of mobile robots for inspection and maintenance of industrial facilities as a collective. The goal is to develop a multi-domain, multi-agent robotic sample retrieval system that will be able to obtain surface swabbing samples of critical infrastructure buildings for chemical or biological analysis.

Training will be delivered by multiple partners, including FIS360, Sellafield Ltd, Fraunhofer and more. Students will be given the opportunity to travel to partner sites for secondments, develop an international network, and gain access to further secondment opportunities with a wide range of industry leaders.

Having worked with FIS360 CEO Frank Allison for over a decade, RAICAM Deputy Network Coordinator Dr Simon Watson, from the University of Manchester, said: “FIS360’s track record and experience is unique. The company is positioned neatly between academia and industry, bridging the gap in knowledge and communication to translate work from the former to the latter. The Game Changers innovation programme delivered by FIS360 has truly been a game changer in the nuclear industry, and FIS360’s focus goes beyond nuclear alone, looking to impact other sectors in a positive way.”

Attending the event in Genoa, Robert Cruickshank, FIS360 Business Development, said: “It was brilliant to see first-hand the innovative technology that the PhD Students have started working on. Some of this robotic technology will likely play a huge role in the monitoring of critical assets in the future and to be able to work with these PhD students to support the transition of their technology into industry is very exciting. Although the RAICAM students have only just begun their journey together, their comradery and passion to support each other was remarkable and leaves me in no doubt about the successes they will have in the future.”

With the cohort already looking forward to the commercialisation aspect of their course, the hope is that the training will lead to commercially focused proposals for an onward development project or spin-out company with real-world potential, providing benefits to the robotics and AI industry and beyond.