It is clear that robotics is growing worldwide. I recently was honored to participate in efforts to form a global robotics cluster to help promote the development and operation of local robot clusters around the globe. The Daegyeong Robot Enterprise Promotion Association (REPA) hosted the Global Robotics Business Forum in Daegu, Korea on November 14–16, 2018. The Forum was held in conjunction with the 2018 Daegu Machinery Expo.

This tradeshow consists of three separate shows: the 19th Daegu Automatic Machinery Expo, the 13th Materials, Parts & Components Expo and the 7th Deagu Robot Expo. The exhibition brings together the tools and equipment needed to automate factories and warehouses, including industrial arms, collaborative robotics and assistive technology.

In a hotel adjacent to the show, representatives from 9 clusters around the world gathered to attend the Global Robotics Business Forum. The clusters represented included ZRIA from China, COBOTEAM along with the FFCR from France, MyRAS from Malaysia, RAR from Russia, SIAA from Singapore, REPA from Korea, and Silicon Valley Robotics and MassRobotics from the U.S. In addition to attending talks on the global robotics industry and a session on collaborative robotics, the cluster representatives discussed the idea of forming of an organization to help coordinate their efforts on a global scale.

With support from all the clusters, it was agreed to form the Global Robotics Cluster (GRC). An MOU was signed and each of the founding clusters will be on the board of directors of this newly formed organization. The Chairman of REPA, Mr. Changho Kim, agreed to serve as the initial President of the GRC and I have accepted the invitation to serve as a Vice President. The first order of business is to contact clusters from other countries to ensure that the GRC has greater representation and then help determine ways GRC can have an impact on robotics throughout the world. I look forward to sharing more news soon as we progress.

Tom Ryden
Executive Director