February 09, 2016      

If you walk in the world of robotics, the city of Odense, Denmark, should definitely be on your itinerary. Whether you are studying (or thinking about studying) in this area, are considering forming a start-up, or are already an established player in this fast-growing industry, Odense has a multitude of resources and talent at your fingertips to help you take your goals to the next level.

Since its founding in the year 988, Odense has been one of Denmark’s leading cities. Formerly known for its industrial strength, particularly in metal and food production, the city has been undergoing a massive transformation and has proven itself as a leader in high technology — namely robotics.

With the support and investments from the municipal government, Odense has transformed into a unique ecosystem where you can find research institutes, higher education programs, and many corporate headquarters — and jobs! — in the exciting field of robotics.

In fact, there is actually an organized collective: Odense Robotics. This collaboration encompasses more than 70 robotics/automation companies, 30 universities, 10 research institutes, and over 1,800 jobs. An environment like this enables each player to contribute to one another’s growth, strengthening the industry as a whole. Odense is rapidly becoming a major business hub for robotics, not only in Denmark, but for all of Europe.

Back in 2013, Odense was named an “excellent illustration of robots saving jobs in high-wage countries” in the International Federation of Robotics’ “Robots Create Jobs” report.

To dive in a bit deeper, here are some more details about how a visit (or expansion) to Odense could benefit you — no matter what path you are on in your journey through the robotics industry.

Start-up environment

Odense was named the No. 1 entrepreneur-friendly city in Denmark for 2015. This is a result of the country’s business culture, Odense Robotics’ strong support of this developing industry, and the city being saturated by top research and educational institutions.

Odense Robotics provides an invaluable resource to help ambitious technology companies grow and thrive.

“We are leading a new established start-up hub, which allows new robot companies to become part of a powerful robot environment and to work with their prototype and business plans,” explained Mikkel Christoffersen, business manager for IT and robots at Odense Robotics. “Among the existing companies, there is a high degree of openness to working with start-ups on technologies or market access. The existing cluster here can offer skilled robot start-ups unique opportunities here in Odense.”

Schools in Odense offer more than 30 relevant programs in IT and robotics. The University of Southern Denmark (SDU) alone has 15 master’s and engineering programs in robotics and software technology. These programs not only attract new talent to the area, but also aid in the formation of research institutions supporting the robotics industry.

The local Hans Christian Andersen Airport is the location of UAS Denmark, the national test center for drone technology, and the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute (MMMI) located at SDU is a research center for intelligent autonomous systems.

The Danish Technological Institute has also established the Center for Robotics in Odense, which offers product-development counseling, new laboratory and test facilities, and technological know-how. This environment and access to the latest scientific research creates a wonderful environment for small businesses and start-ups learn, grow, and thrive.

Gateway to the European robotics market

If you already have a company established in the U.S. or somewhere else in the world, Odense can provide the resources, network and knowledge you need to break into the European market.

Universal Robots is headquartered in Odense, Denmark.

Universal Robots is among the robotics firms in Denmark.

According to World Bank Group, Denmark is the best country in Europe to do business and No. 3 in the world. In 2015, Forbes ranked Denmark as the best country for business based on categories such as transparency and efficiency, innovation, technology, and market performance.

Many robotics companies are headquartered in Odense, including Universal Robots, Scape Technologies, and MIR.

Through collaborations such as Odense Robotics, as well as and the upcoming RoboBusiness conference taking place this June, you will have ample opportunity to immerse yourself in the industry, network, and develop your business further.

The large industry presence and support found in Odense fosters the growth of robotics in all its facets — from new creative concepts, to real life testing. all the way to industrial production and entry into the market.

RoboBusiness Europe 2016 will be in Odense, Denmark.

RoboBusiness Europe 2016

If you aren’t quite ready or able to pick up and move your business to Odense just yet, there is a great opportunity to come and experience it firsthand for three days this June. RoboBusiness Europe, a first-of-its-kind robotics event sponsored by the city of Odense, will take place June 1-3, 2016.

“Odense is proud to sponsor RoboBusiness Europe 2016, as it will bring together the world’s top talent in robotic research, innovation, and business. Of course, this is also a great opportunity for us to show what our city has to offer and for our companies here to make new and lasting business relationships,” said Anker Boye, the city’s mayor.

The aim of RoboBusiness Europe 2016 is to support industry vendors, investors, and end users in their efforts to further develop the field of robotics. Now in its fourth year, the annual conference will serve as a place for business leaders and technology decision-makers to get together and share knowledge, learn how robotics is transforming their businesses, and gain access to the right tools so they can adopt, build, and profit from industry-wide solutions.

The three-day event will include 100 international speakers from various areas in the industry, more than 100 exhibitors that will give attendees the opportunity to meet with and see the industry?s key players and learn about their products and technologies, a matchmaking program to help facilities networking and business development, and more.

“Attendees can sign up for visits to local companies such as Universal Robots, the university, Hans Christian Andersen Airport and other visits,” said Marianne Andersen, CEO of RoboBusiness Europe. “We want to give visitors as much inspiration as possible while in Denmark. This is why tourist attractions and a golf tournament are also part of the program.”

In 2017, the conference will take place in Delft, Holland. “The reason for this is that we want to grow our network and presence in Europe,” Andersen said.

If you are interested in attending this year’s event, becoming a sponsor, or finding out more about Odense, visit RoboBusiness.eu.