New robot ‘market incubator’ program from RIA
Robotic Industries Association (RIA), billed as North America’s only trade association dedicated solely to industrial robotics, just announced its “Robot Market Incubator Program.” RIA refers to this program as a comprehensive effort to develop new markets for robotic technology and continue the industry’s unprecedented growth. “Today, robotics is too affordable to overlook; too successful to ignore; and surprisingly underused despite runaway market demand in recent years,” says Donald A. Vincent, RIA executive vice president.
Kicking off the Incubator Program is the Robot Market Assessment Program (RMAP), under which interested parties can receive RIA funding and support for formal analysis of potential new markets for industrial robots, says the association. First round of funding requests will be accepted through March 31, 2006, for evaluation and selection by June 30.
Volunteers from 13 companies in the RIA New Markets Committee head up the initiative. Ben Sagan of Kuka Robotics chairs the committee, replacing RIA’s new president, Trevor Jones of Thermo Electron Corp . RIA’s board of directors has dedicated resources for RMAP, based on entries that successfully demonstrate an opportunity for using robotics in new markets or applications. Evaluation criteria include:
Entries must be sponsored by more than one RIA member; study results are shared with qualified members.
“Why should a company want to work with RIA in a market assessment?” asks Vincent. “The Association, which is guided by industry leaders from the supplier, user, researcher and integration ranks, can tap into a network of experts at some 250 member companies—there is no higher concentration of robot knowledge in the U.S., and for more than 30 years RIA has been dedicated to growing the market.”
He adds, “If you think you see an opportunity in a new area, for instance recreational vehicles or homeland security or medical [etc.], let RIA fund the initial research to help you validate your technology or business plan.”
RMAP continues the association’s tradition of promoting safe use and adoption of robotics in North America. RIA sponsors the industry’s biennial International Robots & Vision Show, regional workshops, and an annual “state of the industry” forum.
Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering