What to expect from Odense Robotics – in 2018 and towards 2020

Odense Robotics works to accelerate growth and innovation in the robot and automation cluster in and around Odense. What will Odense Robotics focus on this year? And what does the team hope to achieve by 2020? Mikkel Christoffersen, Business Manager of Odense Robotics, explains.

2017 was an eventful year in the world of robotics. What are your highlights?
Several landmarks stand out in my mind. I think everyone is happy to see KUBO’s success. They were one of the first companies in the StartUp Hub and we’ve had a close collaboration over many years, so it’s great to see their business taking off and gaining so much attention.

I’d also highlight progress made in building our future workforce. We’ve got a long way to go and recruitment remains by far the biggest growth barrier, but it’s encouraging to see the record high numbers of young people signing up to education programmes within robot and automation. Many companies and candidates are using Job Bank and CV Database, and we’re seeing companies working together more and more on the talent attraction front.

Last but not least, it was a great day when the government announced that SDE College in Odense was to become one of three national knowledge centres for robot and automation. We worked closely with the educational institutions and government figures to make sure that robotics and the cluster were high on the agenda and the centre will play a key role in building a future workforce.

Looking at the year ahead, what will be your main focus?
Our main focus will continue to be accelerating growth in the cluster. One of our main new initiatives is to launch an employer branding campaign aimed at showcasing the cluster’s many career opportunities to potential employees in Denmark and abroad.

To make sure the campaign addresses companies’ recruitment needs, we are bringing together people from the cluster to develop the campaign together. It’s about telling the right people the right story about why they should come and work here.

You’ve just completed your 2020 strategy. What do you aim to achieve?
Our 2020 strategy is very much a continuation of our direction until now – and for good reason. The areas we’ve focused on until now still more relevant than ever.

Through our efforts to accelerate growth and innovation, we hope to see an average 60% growth in revenue amongst companies, a 40% increase in jobs, the workforce grow to 4,500 employees and the cluster grow to 140 companies in 2020.

Last but not least, we will work continuously to safeguard our position as one of the world’s top ten centres for robotic technologies. It’s not an easy task given the competition, but our ambition nevertheless.

You have a new vision in line with your new 2020 strategy. Can you explain what it means?
Our new vision is to make Odense the global leader of the next industrial revolution. In other words: we want to help companies in and around Odense become even better at developing robotic technologies for the manufacturing industry.

The vision highlights the fact that the cluster is home to global leaders within industrial robotics. By doing so, we believe we can increase the entire cluster’s visibility. This can help attract talent, to name just one example. Geographically speaking, the cluster is of course more than Odense, but we focus on the city in our vision as it is recognised globally in robotic circles.

We will continue to support companies regardless of whether their technology is intended for manufacturing or not – and whether it’s part of the fourth or fifth revolution. The vision is a way of highlighting what we are best at so that all companies in the cluster reaps the benefits.