In a recent analysis, the national robot partnership Robotics Alliance, for the first time put figures on the development of the Danish robotics industry. Not surprisingly, the review shows that the overall contribution of the Danish robot and automation industry to the Danish economy is increasing significantly.
While today’s 300 automation and robotic companies traded $ 2.7 billion in 2018 the number is estimated to grow up to $ 7.6 billion by 2025, bringing the industry on par with established industries such as those of fashion or food ingredients.
The analysis shows that the activity is most significant in Denmark’s robot capital, Odense, where Inwatec operates. Selling robot and automation solutions for the laundry industry, Inwatec has experienced a tenfold increase in sales over the past five years, and director Mads Andresen has no doubt that the positive stories about and experiences with Danish technology have spread widely around the world.
“The level of education in Denmark is very high. This means that a lot of young people graduate from our universities and that talents from all over the world are coming to Denmark to finish their education. Also, because of the concentration of companies in the robot cluster Odense Robotics, we have plenty of jobs to offer to skilled people who want to join the robot industry. And it is essential for all of us to get the labor we need,” says Mads Andresen, who founded Inwatec in 2009 and employs nearly 50 employees today.
“I was educated in the city, and I lived here when I founded Inwatec. Obviously, it often goes like that, and there is no doubt that the cluster of robot companies has grown considerably because of all the people educated in Odense. Also, the city’s efforts to strengthen the education and facilities for the companies only stimulate further development. In addition to the robot companies, the figures in the analysis show that success in one industry pays off for subcontractors in other industries. And we have only seen the beginning,” states Mads Andresen.
The whole world is demanding an increase in production
In some countries, the use of robots and automation solutions accounts for 10 percent of their total national growth, the analysis illustrates. Furthermore, the industry’s productivity per employee increases with the number of robots.
While so far mainly Korea, Japan, and Germany have invested in robots, not least because of the automotive industry, they can be found all over the world more and more.
This also applies to the laundry industry:
“We have our biggest market in Europe right now, but growth is strong in the US, Japan, China and the rest of Asia and Australia, and soon we will probably have machines on all continents. The biggest challenge is to ensure that we have the hands and brains that we need to develop and produce. But there is a strong political will to build on the success in Odense and in Denmark, and therefore I am not afraid that we cannot find the labor force”, says Mads Andresen, who expects both revenue and the number of employees at Inwatec to double within the coming years.
Today, 8,500 Danes are employed in the robot industry, and according to the analysis, there are prospects for up to 17,000 more jobs in the industry until 2025. Hence, more investments in education and research within robots and automation are required.