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September 2012

Commission and Robotics Community Commit to a Stronger Robotics Sector

The European Commission, industry and academia have agreed to launch a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in Robotics, to help Europe-based companies take a larger share of the €15.5 billion annual global robotics market. Representatives from European robotics manufacturers and research institutes joined European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes in signing a Memorandum of Understanding, the first step towards a PPP launch in 2013.  The future PPP is believed to strengthen the EU robotics sector.

Neelie Kroes, Commissioner for Digital Agenda, in her key-note speech to 100 participants at the event in Brussels stated:  "A strong robotics industry is key to Europe's future competitiveness. Growing our robotics industry means new jobs and a strong European manufacturing sector.  Three millions jobs are created or maintained worldwide as a result of using one million industrial robots. Europe's robotics industry is highly successful, accounting for about a quarter of the global production in industrial robotics and a 50% market share in professional service robotics. The domestic and professional service robot markets are expected to grow by 40% in the coming years with the strongest growth in rescue, security and professional cleaning applications." 

She went on to mention the importance of having more young people, especially young women, pursue careers in engineering, science, and technology and mentioned that the European Robotics Week provides the perfect tool to achieve this goal.

In short speeches, Dr. Bernd Liepert (KUKA CTO, EUROP/euRobotics President), and Prof. Herman Bruyninckx (KU Leuven, EURON Coordinator/euRobotics Vice President Research) presented their views focusing on robotics industry and academia respectively.  They both joined commissioner Kroes in signing the Memorandum of Understanding, which was followed by a short question and answer period.
Henrik Schunk, Managing Partner of Schunk GmbH and EUnited Robotics Chairman, stated: "This is a major step towards a PPP launch marking a true milestone for European Robotics. The close cooperation of the European Commission together with the robotics industry and academia will place Europe in a much stronger economic position to face new challenges and gain new future opportunities."

The event was accompanied by a robot exhibition, which the Commissioner visited. Ten advanced robotics exhibits were brought to the Concert Noble and provided the right atmosphere for this milestone event in European robotics.

On 17 September 2012, one day prior to the MoU signing event, robotics industry research and academia joined together in establishing the private side of this public-private partnership by founding euRobotics aisbl in Brussels.  euRobotics aisbl currently has 43 members, 35 of whom became founding members on the 17th.

> Read more about euRobotics aisbl Founding Event 

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