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$36m Danish project will create ‘world’s biggest cobot hub’

05 February, 2020

Universal Robots (UR) and Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR) have acquired a 50,000m2 site in Odense, Denmark, where – with the financial backing of their joint US parent company, Teradyne – they are planning to invest $36m to build “the world’s largest hub for collaborative robots (cobots)”.

The new hub – announced by Denmark’s minister of industry, business and financial affairs, Simon Kollerup – will support Teradyne’s mission to further strengthen the "significant" leads that UR and MiR have already established worldwide.

The two companies are the flagships in the thriving Danish robotics industry. They will share 32,000m2 (334,000ft2) of space in Odense’s industrial district, close to UR’s current headquarters, which will also become part of the new hub.

“MiR and UR are leading the world in the collaborative robot revolution that’s making automation solutions available to companies of all sizes,” says Teradyne’s president and CEO, Mark Jagiela. “Teradyne continues to invest aggressively in the development of new products, solutions, and sales channels and this new facility is a key part of our growth strategy.

“We have found something very special in Denmark,” he adds. “The Danes’ innovative industrial design, combined with a practical business sense, have created a perfect combination for this emerging industry. The ability to make robots work in collaboration with humans in a user-friendly manner is something we have not encountered to this degree anywhere else in the world and we’re very excited to expand our capabilities in Odense.”

To date, Teradyne has invested more than $500m in the two Danish robotic companies, both of which are growing rapidly.

The companies will continue as separate entities. They aim to create an environment that will help to attract new employees to facilitate their growth, which is expected to continue in the coming years.

MiR president Thomas Visti, Danish industry minister Simon Kollerup, and UR president, Jürgen von Hollen, at the announcement of the plans for a cobot hub in Odense

UR president, Jürgen von Hollen, sees enormous potential in the cobot market, which the analyst, ABI Research, predicts will be worth almost $12bn by 2030. “Demand for Danish cobots already means that we are outgrowing our current offices in Odense, both at UR and MiR,” he says. “Odense has a strong ecosystem of talent and we are pleased to have the opportunity to invest long-term in the unique robotics environment that we have been building here over the last 10 years.”

“Denmark has a significant lead in the global market for cobots,” adds MiR president, Thomas Visti. “Investing ambitiously in building the world’s largest cobot hub right here in Odense makes a lot of sense. Offering a strong, professional environment with superb facilities enables us to attract talent from all over the world.”

Over the past year, MiR has taken on 100 new employees while, over the past two years, UR has added 280 new members of staff. Today, the companies have 160 and 450 employees respectively in Denmark. Worldwide, UR employs almost 700 people and MiR around 220.

The Danish robotics industry is booming. A survey last year by the Odense Robotics trade association showed that 8,500 people now work for Danish robotics companies, 3,900 of them in and around Odense, which is Denmark’s third largest city. If the industry continues to grow as predicted, it will employ 25,000 employees by 2025, according to the Danish analyst, Damvad.

Danish robotics companies’ total revenues rose by 18% in 2018 to reach reaching $995m, with exports soaring by 26%. Just 15 years ago Denmark did not have a significant robotics industry.

The planned cobot hub in Odense will be the world's largest

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