The Department for Work and Pensions is seeking to explore potential uses of robotics.
The DWP has issued an early engagement notice outlining that its Intelligent Automation Garage (IAG) unit wishes to talk to companies that “are currently offering their services in developing robotic solutions utilising robotic processing automation, virtual assistants, chatbots, [and] machine learning”.
Founded in 2017 and based across the DWP’s Manchester and Newcastle sites, the IAG serves as the department’s “in-house robotics centre”.
“[It] is a collaborative working space where fast-paced, business-led, innovative software development happens using agile and design-led practices”, the DWP said.
The goal of the unit is to develop standardised governance and best practice for uses of automation, and to work with various tech manufacturers to “minimise costs and follow a best-of-breed approach”. The IAG will also undertake automation-based projects in tandem with commercial partners – based on a 60/40 split of resources and workload.
“DWP is seeking to engage potential suppliers… to inform the department's future requirements”, the notice said.
Firms have until 8 March to get in touch with the DWP, after which the intention is to meet respondents for more in-depth discussions.