11 things you might not know about High Tech in Bristol and Bath

Leading-edge technology from across the region
31st August 2016

The Bristol and Bath region is one of the leading high tech clusters in Europe – here are a few things you might not have come across (in no particular order):

  1. BT’s broadband operations centre for the whole of the UK is based in Bristol.
  2. The University of Bristol is leading research on the next generation of 5G wireless systems – Massive win for Bristol MIMO technology
  3. Bristol will have gigabit wireless connections along a mile stretch from the SS Great Britain as part of the Bristol is Open network, using equipment from Blu Wireless Technology.
  4. Bristol Robotics Lab (BRL) is the largest robotics lab in Europe. Among the research projects is leading edge research on microbial fuel cells and ‘soft’ robotics that uses flexible polymers to replicate muscles – Profile: Bristol Robotics Lab
  5. Bristol is the centre for driverless cars. The VENTURER and FLOURISH projects are looking at different aspects of the way these vehicles operate on the roads, while startup FiveAI is developing leading edge ‘deep learning’ software for the car controllers – South West startup aims at artificial intelligence for driverless cars
  6. The world’s most popular real-time operating system is based just outside Bristol. FreeRTOS is consistently the top RTOS used by engineers, and is developed and maintained by Richard Barry. He works with Wittenstein High Integrity Systems based in Long Ashton.
  7. The University of Bath is building one of the world’s leading automotive research centres. A £50m centre at the Bristol and Bath Science Park will join the University’s Powertrain and Vehicle Research Centre (PVRC)
  8. Bill Gates is backing a project to bring electricity to developing countries in a unique way. Researchers at the University of the West of England have developed a fuel cell that can use urine to generate electricity. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the development of the commercial system – Pee Power to light the way in refugee camps
  9. Intel has a major research centre in Bath, developing multi-core chips and software for telecoms systems. The picoChip team acquired from Mindspeed in 2014 are working on the next generation of technology for Small Cells.
  10. The Bristol and Bath region is home to the largest collection of engineers under one roof in Europe. Airbus hosts over 2,000 engineers and designers in Filton.
  11. The first quantum photonics chips were developed at the University of Bristol. Along with a centre training quantum engineers, this could lead to ultra-powerful quantum computers that run at room temperature rather than having to be cooled.