Robotics R&D in the USA, Japan and Korea, and the position of Europe
The USA have a Robotics Roadmap driving the R&D and market development of robotics, stating that "Robotics technology holds the potential to transform the future of the country and is likely to become as ubiquitous over the next few decades as computing technology is today".
In Japan, the Council for Science and Technology Policy supports the ‘Next generation Robotics’ as one of the key research topics for the development of the country. The plan of investment in robotics is of 350 M$ per year on humanoid robotics, service robotics, and intelligent environments with a direct attention to the transfer of results to the industry.
In Korea, "Intelligent robot" has been declared as one of the ten "National Economic Growth Engines" and R&D in robotics is pushed in the areas of personal service, professional service, industrial robotics, defense, health/welfare, ocean/underwater, construction, transport. The current rate of investments is of about 500 M$ per year and robotics is one of the 17 pillars for the doubling of the Korean exports to 475 B$ by 2013 (BusinessWeek and Korea Ministry of Knowledge Economy).
In Europe, the FP7 has supported robotics from 2007 with about 100 M€/year, sending the message that “Robotics is strategic for Europe’s future competitiveness”. There is an acknowledged lack in the transfer of the research results to the industry and the Commission has launched initiatives like ECHORD (European Clearing House for Open Robotics Development) and the FoF calls (Factories of the Future) trying to get research closer to the industry. A recent new ambitious research programme FET Flagship “Robot Companion for Citizen” is launched in 2012. This research programme on robotics (ten years and more) aims to develop of new robots technologies intermingling matter and mind for a better efficiency and a better adequacy to human needs. The research activity of the RCC Flagship will create opportunities for ambitious research on a wide variety of topics interesting robotics, like neurosciences, energy, matter, and bio inspired approach. The FET Flagship initiative RCC which ambitions to realize a unique and unforeseen multidisciplinary science and engineering program supporting a radically new approach towards machines and how they will be deployed in our society, falls well within the scope of the research and innovation of the EMARO+ programme.