This week at the Automatica trade fair in Munich, the Pittsburgh Robotics Network (PRN) and Denmark’s Odense Robotics announced a partnership to boost the world-leading robotics clusters of each region and transatlantic business growth opportunities.
“Danish robotics companies have their eyes on the global market, and the U.S. is one of the industry’s biggest export markets,” said Odense Robotics CEO Søren Elmer Kristensen. “At the same time, the U.S. wants to forge closer ties to Denmark’s robotics industry because of our strong ecosystem with research and development.”
Odense Robotics is a cluster for robot, automation, and drone technology. Denmark’s robotics ecosystem is made up of more than 500 companies, with the world’s first collaborative robot said to be invented there.
“The strong global demand for automation solutions means that Danish and American robotics companies share many opportunities and challenges,” said Jenn Apicella, Interim Executive Director, of the PRN. “Through this strategic partnership, our ambition is to create new growth opportunities for robotics companies in the Pittsburgh region and Denmark and strengthen the uptake of robotics technology in many sectors.”
The PRN represents the companies and leaders who make up the Pittsburgh ecosystem driven by 130+ robotics organizations. Recent milestones for the organization include a federal Build Back Better Regional Challenge grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to fund projects such as the Robotics Factory led by Innovation Works to fuel the growth of robotics startups.
The region is anchored by Carnegie Mellon University, which founded the world’s first Ph.D. program in robotics in 1988 and houses the world’s largest robotics research center in the Robotics Institute. Research on self-driving cars began at the university in the 1980s, helping to make the city a global hub for the technology.
PRN’s tie-up with Odense Robotics is just the latest milestone in its mission to accelerate the adoption of robotic solutions. Last year the organization founded the United States Alliance of Robotics Clusters (USARC) with MassRobotics and Silicon Valley Robotics to enable increased collaboration and communication across U.S. robotics clusters, enhanced support and success for stakeholders, and more focused advocacy for the robotics and AI industries. USARC members are looking to robotics applications like agri-tech, energy efficiency, recycling, and climate change as well as revitalize local economic development by onshoring more robotics and artificial intelligence businesses and initiatives.
The U.S. robotics industry is said to represent the fastest geography for growth and activity globally. In 2021, robotics and automation investment in the U.S. exceeded $20 billion, 60% of the global investment total, according to USARC, with 28% of investment deals involving early-stage companies. Each of the robotics clusters within the USARC has realized tenfold or better growth in company numbers in the last decade.