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IK4, founder member of the new association to advise the EU on robotics

IK4, founder member of the new association to advise the EU on robotics

IK4, a European benchmark in robotics, is developing solutions geared mainly towards the manufacturing, infrastructure, natural resources, green industries and transport sectors.

euRobotics aisbl brings together companies, R+D centres and administrations relating to robotics, an industrial sector worth 15,500 million euros per year, to lead the international market from Europe

All the main players participating in the area of robotics in Europe–companies, national organisations, R+D centres and administrations– have decided to come together within a single organisation, whose mission is to advise the European Commission on the policies it needs to promote in order to achieve European leadership in robotics on the international market.

The academic organisation EURON and the business association EUROP have merged into the international association euRoboticsaisbl (Association Internationale Sans But Lucratif), a pan-continental initiative, in which the IK4 Research Alliance has become a founder member. Its aim is the get European industry to increase its share of the 15,500-million-euro international robotics pie.

euRobotics, which was set up in September this year in an official ceremony in which the most senior levels of the European Commission participated, is now moving into a construction phase in which the most important players in the European robotics sector are participating.

The organisation, based in Brussels, is a not-for-profit one and its work will include tasks like the strengthening of the position of European companies on international markets, the representation of the industry before the community administration, the increase in the visibility of its members or the promotion of robotics in end-use industrial sectors.


European robotics sector

As the Vice President of the European Commission and Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes pointed out in her speech during the founding ceremony of euRobotics aisbl, “a strong robotics sector is a key component in Europe’s future competitiveness. Making our robotics industry grow means more employment and a strong European manufacturing sector.”

The paramount importance of this sector for European industry can be summed up in a few figures: European companies are responsible for a quarter of the global production of industrial robots and half the professional service robots. In addition, the markets for professional service and domestic robots is expected to increase 40% over the coming years, with particular growth in the rescue, security and professional cleaning applications sectors.

Robotics in IK4

The members of the IK4 Alliance are working actively to develop robotics technology and have broad experience in the quest for robotic solutions, in the field of industrial robotics as well as services robotics.IK4-TEKNIKER, an R+D centre belonging to the Alliance, is currently leading 2 European projects in this field and is participating in another 4.

These projects range from traditional sectors like the automotive sector to other sectors in which robotics is less developed, like that of footwear, or maintenance in large industrial plants. The knowledge of the IK4 Alliance members in robotics includes developments in robot-human co-operation.

The robotic solutions being developed by IK4 are mainly geared towards manufacturing, infrastructure, natural resources, green industries and transport sectors. The Alliance’s involvement in robotics was recognised through IK4-TEKNIKER’s coordination of the European Robotics Week in Spain.

The step taken by the IK4 Research Alliance with its participation as a founder member of euRobotics aisbl is consistent with the organisation’s commitment to robotics as a key sector for creating employment and contributing towards the competitiveness of local and European markets.

The move also puts IK4 in an unbeatable position in the transition from the 7th Framework Programme, the most important European tool for the fostering of innovation and technology, to the HORIZON 2020 programme, due to come into force in 2014.