In spite of its long-term position as one of the world’s largest economies, the U.K. has historically struggled to keep pace with the global competition in key sectors such as robotics and autonomous systems (RAS). So, how has the country performed in recent years? And what are the future prospects for British robotics?
When compared with many other industrialized countries, it is clear that the U.K. lags behind in terms of its productivity in key technological sectors, including RAS.
For example, a cross-country comparison of automation, labour productivity, and employment carried out by Copenhagen Business School concluded that, based purely on the level of robotics used, Great Britain has the largest manufacturing productivity gap amongst developed nations.
- The U.K. has actually experienced a declining robot density over the past few years compared with other developed nations.
- Uncertainty around the so-called Brexit has slowed investment and adoption, and countries have different mixes of industrial automation.
- However, U.K. manufacturing and research could still lead to a stronger position for British robotics if certain opportunities are exploited.
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