Robotics is a fast developing market increasingly driven by the development of novel and improved products in areas as diverse as manufacturing, search and rescue and retrieval, inspection and monitoring, surgery and healthcare, homes and cars, transport and logistics, agriculture, and many more.
The importance of robotics lies in its wide-ranging impact on Europe's capacity to maintain and expand a competitive manufacturing sector with millions of related jobs at stake. But at least equally important, robotics also offers new solutions to societal challenges from ageing to health, smart transport, security, energy and environment.
The rapid increase in the use of robots in our homes and at work, in hospitals and industrial environments provides an inspiring vision about how they can benefit society as a whole and how priorities to stimulate robotics should be defined at this point in their evolution, to best develop the potential for growth, jobs and innovation in Europe.
The European Commission actively promotes research, job creation and innovation through better and safer robots, while safeguarding ethical aspects of the progress achieved. The EC focus is evolving from a science-based approach to improved technology development and usage.
Through a portfolio of over one hundred and twenty research projects and coordination actions, the European Commission has progressively built up a solid base of knowledge-sharing and cooperation across the entire robotics stakeholder community. This base now includes a public-private-partnership on robotics that was inaugurated in January 2014 in Brussels.
This work is undertaken in close collaboration with the robotics community, including Member States programmes, industry, universities and research institutions.