100 million euros for the French robotics sector
Announced yesterday by Arnaud Montebourg on the occasion of the opening of the Innorobo exhibition in Lyon, the “France Robot Initiatives” plan provides for the contribution of € 100M to companies in the robotics sector, via public and private funds.
“Service robotics alone will represent a market of 100 billion euros in 2020 according to the European Commission and this market will be multiplied by 30 in ten years” declared the Minister for Productive Recovery.
“There are only 34,000 industrial robots in France, against 60,000 in Italy and 150,000 in Germany,” he added, stressing the importance of investing in this sector, in accordance with the conclusions of the Gallois report on French competitiveness according to Bousier.com. Due to a lack of funds available in France, the company Aldebaran Robotics, designer of the NAO robot, had found financing with the Japanese company Softbank.
The main private partner, Robolution Capital, venture capital fund created by Bruno Bonnell, former boss of Atari and initiator of the show Innorobo, should have 60M € on its own, with 15M € provided by the State via the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations. A “world first” according to the interested party, whose fund should invest tickets of 300,000 to 3M € in the selected companies.
In addition, the State will invest up to 10% in innovative start-ups through € 4.4 million from its “Start PME” plan. The automotive sector will receive € 2M to invest in innovative companies in the robotics sector.
According to the European Commission, the robotics market represented € 15.5 billion in 2010.