July 2009

Presentation of the new SRA for robotics in Europe

On 7 July 2009, we started a new chapter in the history of robotics in Europe. The presentation of the new Strategic Research Agenda took place with the presence of more than 110 distinguished guests and robotics experts at the Bibliotheque Solvay, in Brussels. The participants list included members of the European Commission led by Dr. Rudolf Strohmeier, Head of the cabinet of Commissioner Reding.

This future-oriented framework is the result of three years of intensive collaborative effort of many European robotics manufacturers, system integrators, research institutes and universities.

Press Conference:

The start of the event was marked by a press conference in the morning which included the opening remarks of Dr. Horst J. Kayser, President of EUROP and CEO of KUKA AG, and Professor Herman Bruyninckx, EURON Coordinator from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

Dr. Kayser pointed out in his remarks that this 40 page document is a record of intensive consultation and coordination between all robotics stakeholders in Europe - together 130 organisations. It addresses the challenges of the European robotics industry as well as a roadmap to the future of European robotics.  He further emphasised that only through close cooperation at all levels will knowledge and expertise be transferred between science and industry and across all robotics sectors. The research agenda will help us identify potentials for robotics both in and beyond the familiar tracks.

Dr. Horst Kayser and Professor Herman Bruyninckx at the press conference

Dr. Horst J. Kayser and Professor Herman Bruyninckx at the press conference

Professor Herman Bruyninckx's  impressive speech addressed the challenges faced by academia today.  He credited the European Commission on its effort to put pressure on both industry and academia to work together.  "And this resulted in more than just the SRA", he added.  It cleared the path to realise that not only academia and industry must work together, but the external stakeholders, i.e. the general public, the science and technology press, the R&D funding agencies, the European Commission and the academic governments should also be included.  Only then can we tackle the challenges faced by the European robotics industry and academia head on.

Hardware Exhibition and Lunch

Following the morning press conference, the first round of the visit to the hardware exhibition took place.  All the participants were then invited to meet, mingle, network and ask questions from the designated experts.

At a later point, the CEOs and keyplayers of the European robotics industry as well as high ranking Heads of academic institutes, plus Dr. Rodolf Strohmeier and other EC members  retreated to a more private setting to informally share their thoughts and views on the future of the European robotics industry.

Networking Event

A second round of meeting took place at 1:15 p.m., when Mr. Rainer Bischoff, EUROP Coordinator, officially opened the floor to all the participants with his welcoming message.  That was followed by Dr. Strohmeier addressing the audience with an inspiring speech titled "the Strategic Research Agenda for Robotics in Europe in Times of an Economic Crisis".  Dr Strohmeier emphasised once more the commitment of the European Commission to further development of the European robotics industry and to the actualisation of its long term vision.

The official presentation of the European robotics SRA was then delivered by Dr. Kayser highlighting the importance of the SRA as the roadmap and vision for the future of the European robotics to 2020 and beyond.  Dr. Kayser expressed his appreciation to the European Commission for its crucial support  which was instrumental in the development of the SRA through the CARE (Coordination Action for Robotics in Europe) project.

In conclusion, Dr. Kayser finalised his address with this last remark:

 " We are ready to drive robotics forward.  We are ready to lead the world in robotics, and EUROP, the European Robotics Technology Platform, is ready to facilitate this process!" 

   Dr. Rudolf Strohmeier, Head of the cabinet of Commissioner Reding
Dr. Horst J. kayser, EUROP President and CEO of KUKA  Dr. Rudolf Strohmeier, EC Head of the Cabinet of Commissioner Reding

 Mr. Rainer Bischoff, EUROP Coordinator

 Rainer Bischoff, EUROP Coordinator


The impressive show of more than 110 key members of the robotics industry, academia, research institutes, and other experts simply interested in the future of European robotics, as well as most of the stakeholders who jointly collaborated and developed the SRA signifies the success of this occasion.  In addition, the presence of the members of the European Commission lead by Dr. Strohmeier, highlights the EC's commitment regarding the future of the European robotics.

A copy of the speeches and presentations at the press conference as well as the networking event is attached for your information.


Horst Forster (left), Director "Digital Content, Cognitive Systems", Stefan Müller (left middle), Chairman of EUnited Robotics chatting with two participants at the networking event

 Some attendees at the press conference
 Overview of the audience at the Bibliotheque Solvay  
 Overview of the audience, the Bibliotheque Solvay (from left to right: Rainer Bischoff (KUKA), Bruno Tranchero (Alenia Aeronautica), Tim Guhl (KUKA), Gian Paolo Gerio (Comau), Flavio Fusco (Selex Galileo), Christoph Leroux (CEA-LIST), David Bisset (iTechnic),  Robotics experts - networking event


 DLR Crawler - hardware exhibition  Shadow Dexterous Hand - hardware exhibition  DFKI Crawler - hardware exhibition

 DLR Crawler

 Shadow Dexterous Hand

 DFKI Asguard

Any of the pictures above can be enlarged or downloaded by clicking on them.

The following includes further information regarding the presentations and related material 

>Dr. Horst J. Kayser, CEO of KUKA and EUROP President:



Mr. Rainer Bischoff, EUROP Executive Board Chair  

> The SRA and related information

> Further information on the related press conference including the press kit  


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