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China Unveils Plan to Become An Innovation Hub for Robotics

Source: Science and Technology Daily | 2022-01-13 09:16:22 | Author: Li Lin Xu

By LI Linxu

China has unveiled a five-year plan to become a global innovation hub for robotics, vowing to make core technology breakthroughs.

The country aims to become an innovation, high-end manufacturing and integrated application hub for robotics by 2025, according to a plan jointly released by 15 government agencies including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).

The document, titled the Robotics Industry Development Plan During the 14th Five-Year Plan Period, details the country's roadmap to achieve a series of concrete goals.

During the period (2021-2025), the average annual growth rate of operating income in the country's robotics industry is expected to exceed 20 percent, according to the plan.

China's robotics industry has witnessed a rapid growth in recent years, and the country has been the world's largest consumer of industrial robots for eight consecutive years, said Wang Weiming, a senior official from MIIT.

A lovely panda robot at China Pavilion of Expo 2020 Dubai. (PHOTO: XINHUA)

In 2020, China's robotics industry's operating income exceeded 100 billion RMB, while the output of industrial robots increased to 212,000 sets.

The robots have been widely applied in various industries, including manufacturing, construction, household services, public services, medical and health.

In 2020, China's robot density in the manufacturing industry reached 246 sets per 10,000 people, nearly twice that of the global average.

The robots have demonstrated their value in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been deployed by field hospitals and front line medical workers to screen temperatures, provide food, drinks and medicine to patients, and spray disinfectant.

Today, China's robot density ranks 9th globally compared to 25th just five years ago, according to the statistics released by the International Federation of Robotics.

While the robotics industry is booming in China, there are still some gaps compared with overseas advanced levels in the field of technology accumulations, industrial foundations and high-end supply, said Wang, adding that a new phase of sci-tech and industrial revolution opens a window for industrial upgrading and leapfrog development.

The plan puts forward a series of measures, such as improving industrial innovation capabilities, consolidating the industrial foundation, boosting the supply of high-end products, expanding the depth and breadth of applications, and optimizing industrial structure.

To boost the innovation capabilities in the robotics industry, the country will strengthen core technology breakthroughs, improve innovation systems and support technology integration, said Song Xiaogang, secretary-general of the China Robot Industry Alliance, adding that the collaborative research and development will be encouraged.

Editor: 李林旭

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