In Denmark, a profitable cluster of robotic firms has emerged, with Common Robots because the flagship. This cluster is rooted in visionary selections made by non-public sector enterprise representatives along with college scientists 30 years in the past. Since then, the cluster has developed in shut collaboration between non-public initiatives, information establishments, and public industrial coverage. This story carries an vital lesson.
By Carsten Steno
Denmark – and particularly the Danish island of Funen – is residence to a robust cluster of robotic firms at the moment. The cluster consists of well-developed analysis and academic establishments with vital industrial automation information and greater than 80 firms with automation applied sciences because the core of their enterprise. This cluster employs greater than 2,300 folks – and is anticipated to develop at a excessive price in years to come back.
A breakthrough for the robotic cluster arrived with the robust international development in gross sales for the flagship of the cluster, Common Robots, acquired by the U.S. firm Teradyne in 2015 for $285M.
Worldwide experiences with ecosystems surrounding technology-based development firms present that particular person vital and industrial successes are pivotal to the event of a cluster. However on the similar time, it has been vital that all through greater than 30 years, vital initiatives have been taken by each non-public and public gamers to create the robotic setting now flourishing.
I describe this story in a brand new e book “A cluster that works” subtitled “Common Robots and the Funen robotic setting 1986-2016”, launched in April this yr.
The muse of the cluster was created again within the 80s when A.P. Møller’s shipyard in Odense (largest metropolis in Funen) and Odense College joined forces to develop superior software program for working self-programming robots. This collaboration resulted within the largest non-public donation to a Danish college ever, when “A.P. Møllers Almenfond” in 1997 granted $12M to a scientific analysis institute inside robotic expertise.
From this collaboration, AMROSE was developed – a software program firm owned by A.P. Møller and the college – which saved on working with growing superior packages for robots. Right now, it’s clear to everybody that AMROSE’s robots and software program have been 20 years forward of their time.
However the software program that was developed again then is the muse for the robots that Denmark and Funen are recognized for at the moment.
From this analysis, Common Robots was developed and began to supply small low-cost so-called cobots, collaborative robots. They’re appropriate to be used in Danish industrial enterprises that to an awesome extent make their income from versatile manufacturing in small batches. These robots make them aggressive with China.
Common Robots and two of the founders, Kristian Kassow and Esben Østergaard, virtually failed with their venture, when in 2008, their firm was rescued by Statens Vækstfond (The Nationwide Development Basis) and injected with new capital and new administration with the intention to additional develop the corporate.
Right now, eight years later, Common Robots is one in all Denmark’s fastest-growing firms with international attain. And with an American guardian firm investing closely in Danish excessive expertise aiming to maintain the corporate’s headquarters and improvement division in Odense.