This study is part of the COMPLETE Project (2007-2010) whose aim is to analyse the future competitiveness of the EU ICT sector in emerging ICT technologies. COMPLETE is co-financed by JRC-IPTS and the ENTREPRISE and INDUSTRY Directorate General of the European Commission.
Workshop objectives and format:
This workshop presented and discussed the initial results of the study: "Competitiveness in Emerging Robot Technologies (CEROBOT)" with the purpose of assessing Europe’s future competitive position in selected emerging robot technologies, as well as discussing how EU policy could support in strengthening that position. Particular attention was placed on two areas of robot technologies: robotics for the SME market and robotics safety.
Initial results of the study showed that most of the value of today's robotics industry is still in the same segment as it has been in the past 30 years: automation for industrial manufacturing. In contrast, the promise of imminent take off in robotics is the theme of many industry publications and studies. Market forecasts for service robots indicate major growth, although initial analysis suggests that major technology advances are still necessary in order to lower costs and bring attractive market propositions. Further opportunities are also in the extension of the market for industrial robots, for example in systems integration for SME industrial production. Since robots, and particularly service robots, are coming into close contacts with humans, safety becomes an essential component of robotic systems. As an enabling application area, robotics safety may also represent an important opportunity for the EU ICT industry. Of key interest – or concern - is also the possibility of new entrants to the robotics market, for example players from the adjacent consumer goods and electronics sectors that could compete with EU companies.
The first part of the workshop consisted of a presentation of the study initial results by its authors, Messrs Simon Forge and Colin Blackman of SCF Associates Ltd. The second part included presentations on the experience of EU industrial actors and an outlook of the US robotics industry. This was followed by presentations by European Commission staff on relevant EU industrial and R&D policies.
WORKSHOP INTRODUCTION - Paul Desruelle, European Commission, JRC-IPTS, Information Society Unit
INITIAL RESULTS OF STUDY: COMPETITIVENESS IN EMERGING ROBOT TECHNOGIES (CEROBOT)
INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE & OUTLOOK