New robotics incubator accepts funding requests through March

(from release) The Robotic Industries Association (RIA), North America's trade association dedicated to industrial robotics, has launched its Robot Market Incubator Program to develop new markets for robotic technology. Key to its mission is the Robot Market Assessment Program (RMAP), which will fund and support formalized analysis of potential new markets for industrial robots.

RIA will accept the first round of funding requests through March 31, 2006, for evaluation and selection by June 30, 2006. "If you think you see an opportunity in a new area, for instance recreational vehicles or homeland security or medical - you name it - let RIA fund the initial research to help you validate your technology or business plan," said RIA Executive Vice President, Donald A. Vincent.

Heading up this initiative are volunteers from 13 companies in the RIA New Markets Committee chaired by Ben Sagan of KUKA Robotics (replacing Trevor Jones, RIA's new president from Thermo Electron Corporation). Inquiries can be directed to RIA's Director, Marketing and Public Relations, Brian Huse ([email protected], 734/994-6088), or Executive Vice President Donald A. Vincent ([email protected]).

"RIA is working with suppliers and users to help find low-cost, competitive alternatives to traditional processes and methodologies," said Vincent. "Today, robotics is too affordable to overlook; too successful to ignore; and surprisingly underused despite runaway market demand in recent years."

Association resources have been dedicated by the RIA Board of Directors for RMAP based on entries that successfully demonstrate an opportunity for robotics to be used in new markets or applications. Criteria to be considered include potential return on investment to robotize, barriers and opportunities for adoption, and broad appeal for supplier competition. Entries must be sponsored by more than one RIA member, and study results are shared with qualified members.

"Why should a company want to work with RIA in a market assessment?" asked 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."

The Robot Market Assessment Program continues RIA's tradition of promoting the safe use and adoption of robotics in North America. It is the sponsor of the industry's biennial International Robots & Vision Show, regional workshops and an annual "state of the industry" forum. Additionally, the Association is secretariat for the RIA/ANSI R15.06 Robot Safety Standard, collects industry statistics, and provides in-house training upon request.

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