Robotics companies in Massachusetts grew both in size and revenues last year, positioning the New England state as the new hot robotics market.
According to “The Massachusetts Robotics Cluster” report, commissioned by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and authored by ABI Research, the 122 companies that comprise the Massachusetts Robotics Cluster employed more than 4,700 workers and generated $1.6 billion in revenue in 2015.
“This study confirms that our strong academic and R&D centers provide the Commonwealth with a base of robotics talent that is unparalleled, helping drive new research, the development of innovative technologies and spinning out new startups,” Pat Larkin, director of the Innovation Institute at MassTech, said in a statement. “But most importantly, it provides Massachusetts with strategies that can help us supercharge the robotics cluster, including ways both public and private partners can work together to launch, attract, retain and grow robotics companies across the state.”
The report outlines the key robotics sub-sectors where the collaborative sub-sector is taking a global leadership role, including marine robotics, e-commerce logistics technologies and collaborative robotics.
The research report can be used as an actionable roadmap that spells out ways that Massachusetts economic development and technology leaders can grow the robotics sector statewide, building off the foundation of innovative robotics companies, research universities and skilled technical labor force. It also outlines four specific strategies to support the sustainability and growth of the robotics cluster statewide, including talent development, technology implementation, brand building and cluster expansion.
The report also highlights and identifies 33 new robotic startups created in the Commonwealth state over the last five years, representing a 31 percent increase.
The research confirmed that the Commonwealth’s robotics firms attract outside funding to the state, bringing in $190 million in private investment in 2015, which is second only to California.
Massachusetts is emerging as the leader in the collaborative robotics segment, a market that is expected to grow to more than $1 billion by 2020. The state also supplies 90 percent of the mobile ground robotics to the U.S. military and is a leading center for the development of unmanned underwater vehicles, which grew to a market size of $2.2 billion in 2015.
“Robotics is a foundational, technology-based capability that has wide applicability and can act as the basis for creating wholly new classes of products services, and industries or enhancing existing systems,” Dan Kara, research director of robotics at ABI Research, said in the same statement. “As such, the robotics sector provides for a wide range of business, investment and employment opportunities, particularly for Massachusetts, which enjoys a number of distinct and collectively, unique, advantages as a global robotics innovation hub.”