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China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, in collaboration with 14 other government departments, revealed how it will continue to grow the country’s robotics industry in its 14th five-year plan. China’s five-year plans are a series of social and economic development initiatives that have been issued by the Chinese government since 1953.
The document lays out several smaller goals for the Chinese robotics industry before 2025, but the overarching goal is to make China a key source of global robotics innovation. The government also expects the average annual growth rate of operating income in the robotics industry to exceed 20%.
To reach these goals, the plan outlines five tasks for improvement:
- Improve industrial innovation capabilities
- Consolidate the foundation for industrial development
- Increase the supply of high-end products
- Expand the depth and breadth of applications
- optimize the industrial innovation structure
A study by the Center for Security and Emerging Technology published in November 2021 found that China is the global leader in the total number of robotics patents issued. According to the study, China accounted for more than 25,000 (almost 35%) of the global robotics patents between 2005-2019. This is nearly three times more than the 9,500 robotics patents granted by the U.S. over the same period. The study found the U.S. ranked fourth worldwide, coming in behind South Korea (11,000) and Japan (15,000) in total number of robotics patents issued since 2005.
Here is a snapshot of each of those aforementioned tasks in China’s new five-year plan.
Improve industrial innovation capabilities
China is looking to both strengthen core technologies and develop new technologies. To do so, the country plans to promote R&D within the country, particularly in areas such as bionic perception and cognition and biomechanical integration.
The country is also looking to promote the integration of technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing with robotics.
Consolidate the foundation for industrial development
For this goal, China seems to be focusing on standardization of the robotics industry. It is establishing a national robot standardization organization. The country also aims to actively participate in international standardization work.
Increase the supply of high-end products
China’s robotics industry is looking to fill the needs of manufacturing, mining, construction and agriculture, household services, public services and medical and health, among other industries. The country plans to help expand existing product series, improve performance, quality and safety of existing robots and promote the development of specialized robots.
Expand the depth and breadth of applications
While there are already many applications for existing robots, the Chinese government is looking to explore new areas where robots could be of use. To do so, the country is promoting collaboration between robotics companies and complete machine and parts companies.
The country also wants to explore new business models for robotics companies, such as a new lease service platform and smart cloud services.
Optimizing the industrial organization structure
For this task, China plans to promote new, specialized “little giant” enterprises. These are small to medium-sized enterprises that focus on specialization and refinement of technology as well as novelty.
The country also plans to promote a strong and stable supply chain. To do so, it’s encouraging collaboration from the upper, middle and lower reaches of the industrial chain. This step also entails creating strategic robotics clusters with strong innovation capabilities throughout the country.
The plan also creates five safeguard measures to ensure implementation. These measures are: strengthening overall planning and coordination, increasing fiscal, taxation and financial support, creating a good market environment, improving the talent security system and deepening international exchanges and cooperation.
China’s 13th five-year plan was released in 2016, and the one before that in 2012.
Aly Fahmy says
Is there plans from other countries?
Innocent Mtaro says
I was eager to hear something about China’s approach to millitary applications of Robots & AI. Any info on that so far ?
BARRY DENNIS says
EVERY Developed Nation that manufactures, mines or processes, anticipates Service Robotics for health care, personal services for handicapped, aged, infirm, really every use in the developing and industrialized countries, will need robotic infrastructure.
EVERY user, from government to business to institutions, will also have to plan skills training for management, maintenance, and growth. It won’t do any good for Robotics to replace hundreds of millions of workers worldwide, working in labor intensive, unskilled, hazardous, or jobs otherwise available for automation without training current workers in the new ways of operations and skills necessary to manage the outcomes and succeed.
It is far better for everyone involved to recognize the value of improving Human Capital in their enterprises through planning and development. and get started yesterday.
Waiting for government and politicians to force issues through increased licensing, penalties, regulation and all the other ways to harness this transition to automation. Given the worldwide economy, the attitudes of workers and government, ALL automation Users, from Business, to Government, to institutions, with private enterprise recognizing and enthusiastically adopting taking the lead, have to get started yesterday. Hundreds of millions of workers, virtually overnight, with nothing to do is just a foregone recipe for social disorder, even disaster. Time is of the essence, particularly if we don’t want government taking the lead.