New IFR paper

How Nations Invest in Robotics Research

The Corona crisis highlights the important contribution that robots make to industry and to society. Research funding programs (R&D) are vital to enable and further support these developments. IFR summarized national funding programs in the new „World Robotics R&D Programs“.

New technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and 5G, drive government funding in Asia, Europe and America. © Gorodenkoff/

„Each country has its own characteristics of robot programs based on its specific background and history,” says Prof. Dr. Jong-Oh Park, Vice-Chair IFR Research Committee. „We see that robotics programs set up by the most advanced robotics countries have a very different strategic focus.”

The strategic plan „Made in China 2025“ comes as a blueprint to upgrade the manufacturing capabilities of Chinese industries. This includes advanced robots among the top 10 core industries. The Robot Industry Development Plan sets out the goals for China in 2020, including: (1) developing three to five globally competitive robot manufacturers, (2) creating eight to ten industrial clusters, (3) achieving 45 % of domestic market share for China’s high-end robots, and (4) increasing China’s robot density to 100 robots per 10,000 workers.

„The Intelligent Robot Development and Supply Promotion Act“ of Korea is pushing to develop the robot industry as a core industry in the fourth industrial revolution. The 3rd basic plan for Intelligent Robots from 2019 promotes systematic selection and concentration of promising public and private sectors. Focus areas are: manufacturing businesses, selected service robot areas, next-generation key components and key robot software.


As part of its „High-Tech Strategy“, Germany supports the use of new digital technologies within industry and administration. The „PAiCE“ program emphasizes the development of digital industry platforms as well as collaboration between companies using these platforms. The robotics-oriented projects are focusing on the creation of platforms for service robotics solutions in various relevant application areas including service, logistics, and manufacturing fields.

„The National Robotics Initiative (NRI)“ in the USA was launched for fundamental robotics R&D supported by the Government. The main goals focus on fundamental science, technologies, and integrated systems needed to achieve a vision of ubiquitous collaborative robots assisting humans in every aspect of life. In NRI-2.0, collaboration between academia, industry, non-profit, and other organizations is encouraged.


blueprint Bauplan, Vorlage
core industries Schlüsselindustrie
manufacturing businesses Fertigungsbetriebe
to emphasize unterstreichen
fundamental science Grundlagenforschung
ubiquitous allgegenwärtig

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