Robotics and automation companies from the robotics cluster in the Danish city of Odense have significantly strengthened their global footprint in 2019.
Over the past year, companies increased their workforce abroad by 25 percent to 950 employees, almost double the number of two years ago.
Meanwhile, companies increased their workforce in the cluster in Denmark by 8 percent to 3 900 people. The new figures are published today in Odense Robotics’ Insight Report, which tracks the robotic cluster’s development.
“Many robotic companies are born global, and Odense’s industry is no exception. New figures from this year’s Odense Robotics Insight Report show that the cluster now employs close to 5 000 people in total worldwide. Having established strong R&D functions in their home market, this report clearly demonstrates that robot and automation companies in the Odense area of Denmark are expanding globally more than ever before,” says Mikkel Christoffersen, Cluster Director at Odense Robotics.
While key markets within robotics and automation are currently experiencing a slowdown, the cluster’s strong focus on internationalisation generated impressive financial results in 2018. This was evident in the latest available figures for the cluster’s financial performance. Despite the challenging market conditions, many companies expect to have continued strong growth.
Exports rose by 26 percent during 2018 and reach earnings of EUR 643 million compared with the previous year. Figures show that export growth is set to continue. More than 80 percent of companies plan to export in the future, a steep rise from the situation today, where only half of the companies in the cluster are exporting.
“While today’s challenging marketing conditions will inevitably have an impact on [robot] companies, new figures in our Insight Report show that many companies in Odense Robotics expect continued strong growth. More than 80 percent of companies in the cluster plan to export in the future and the large majority expect to increase turnover by more than 20 percent in the next couple of years. There is good reason to be optimistic,” says Christoffersen.
Network of Global Partners
For the first time, figures are available for international collaboration and they show a cluster with an extensive network of global partners. Almost half of the robot companies collaborate with other robot and automation companies internationally. And more than one in four companies in the cluster collaborate with research and educational institutions abroad.
Collaboration is also thriving in the robotics industry across Denmark. More than 60 percent of companies on the Danish island of Fun collaborate with other robot and automation companies in the rest of Denmark.
"It's time Denmark leveraged these synergies in a strong national setup that accelerates growth in Odense and across the country," says Christoffersen.
“Our goal is to create a national cluster that accelerates growth amongst robotics companies in Odense and the rest of Denmark. We will do this by continuing to strengthen the epicentre in Odense and at the same time extending growth opportunities to innovative, high-growth robotic companies across the country. It’s about leveraging synergies so we can build on Odense’s success and Denmark’s global position of strength,” states Christoffersen.
Talent continues to be the greatest barrier to growth for cluster companies. In 2020, 22 percent of the robot companies expect to recruit positions to the Odense area from abroad. This is an increase on last year when just 15 percent of the robot companies recruited from abroad to the Odense area.
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