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Each month we pose a question of general interest to the robotics community, and ask our panel of experts to answer.
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Henrik Christensen on “What funding scheme is the most conducive to creating a robotics industry?”
February 15, 2013

The public should in most cases not subsidize companies. Tax payers should not be venture capitalists. The new wave of Lean Startup going around the world is a great model to ensure that companies are building products that truly match real market needs. Too many companies are launched without a clear understanding of what the required market demands are in terms of price, performance, and market size. There is a lack of market analysts who are experts in robotics applications. Trying to fund R&D without a clear understanding of what can be sold at what prices is typically a poor investment.

There is still a major need for new methods and companies for systems integration. Still 75% of the system cost is integration, which is a surprise to most companies. We need to bring down the cost of deployment. Too little support has been provided for a new generation of systems integrators.

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