The European Commission (EC) announced its intention to strengthen the links between university and company for the production of key components such as engines and gearboxes, to cope with Asian competition and avoid dependence on other regions of the world for the supply of these strategic elements.
The European Union (EU) aims to boost the field of robotics on the continent and to this end will devote 400 million euros in research until 2010, which doubled the current investment.
The EU is currently well placed on the market for industrial robots, which built one third of global output, according to a communique of the EU executive.
The rate of growth of this market will be an important part of the global economy over the next two decades: the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) provides that the 4,000 million euros a year today to move the market for industrial robots will increase by 4 , 2 per cent by 2010.
More broadly still will be the expansion of the service robots that are used outside the industry: the IFR estimates that 40,000 automatons who worked in 2006 in sectors such as distribution, cleaning of vehicles, commerce, agriculture or medicine will be 75,000 in 2010.
The European Commission believes robotics “an essential element of competitiveness,” since the processing industry can not be kept in areas with high wages unless they resort to automation.
His role will be crucial to compensate for the reduction of active workers because of the aging population in Europe.
For all these reasons, “the European sector of automation clearly has the potential, particularly in the field of robotics, not only to maintain its supremacy, but to develop and progress”, according to the Commissioner for Information Society, Viviane Redding.