Win-win Collaborative Innovation toward the Building of an Intelligent Society
– Opening Remarks at the World Robot Conference 2015
November 23, 2015
Today, the World Robot Conference 2015 is held in Beijing. We just announced the letters of congratulation from Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. Entrusted by Chinese President Xi Jinping and on behalf of the Chinese government, I would like to extend our congratulation to the opening of the Conference and warm welcome to all the honorable guests coming from afar!
The World Robot Conference 2015 is a comprehensive event in the field of international robotics, and it is the first time that China hosts such a conference. With the theme of “Win-win Collaborative Innovation toward the Building of an Intelligent Society,” the conference will focus on the R&D of the world robotics and the development trend of the intelligent society. At present, informatization and industrialization have been further integrated, and the intelligent society has just begun entering a new threshold. Robotics is recognized as the trendsetting approach toward the innovation development of the intelligent society. President Xi Jinping points out in his letter of congratulation that the intelligent industry, as represented by robotic science and technology, is burgeoning and has become an important scientific innovation indicator of the new age. This idea sheds lights to the R&D and industrial development of robotics, and I am hereby to share some of my thoughts on China’s strategy in robotic technology and intelligent industry with you for your comments.
Firstly, we should stick to collaborative innovation to trigger technology breakthrough. Robotics is a multi-disciplinary product of high-tech integration involving a series of cutting-edge technologies such as computer science, automatic control, new materials, new energy and artificial intelligence, etc. Currently, robotics has made great progress, and some artificial intelligent robots have possessed advanced independent thinking and self-learning capacity. However, the R&D of robotics is confronted with many technical challenges that remain to be tackled. Take these issues for example: How to realize the information exchange of human brain and computer? How to integrate robotics and life organisms? How to realize robot self-installation and self-maintenance? To overcome these barriers, experts from multi-disciplines are required to spare no effort to work together, and all stakeholders could stick to the idea of collaborative innovation, strengthening multi-disciplinary exchanges, brain-storming to inspire sparks in collaborative innovation, and achieving technology breakthroughs in collaboration.
Secondly, we should stick to collaborative innovation to create new industries. The current world economic revival has slowed down and the development of Chinese economy has entered into the new normal. Reform and development of countries demand new dynamics. Robotics has been praised as “the pearl on the crown of the manufacturing industry”, which not only represents the emerging industries but also creates industries through developing new market needs. The extensive application of unmanned aerial vehicles, industrial robots, service robots and artificial intelligent robots has promoted the transformation and upgrading of industries. It is hoped that all stakeholders could stick to the idea of collaborative innovation, strengthen collaboration among industries, academia, research institutes, governments and finance, establish technology innovation alliances, create new industry mode continuously and develop new engines for economic development.
Thirdly, we should stick to opening and cooperation to develop broader market. As predicted by the International Federation of Robotics, the robotics revolution will create a several trillion US dollar market. Currently, the global robot market is dominated by industrial robot, which accounts for 80% of the market share. However, from the long trend, service robot will become a hot point. During the past shopping festival on November 11, the sales of a floor cleaning robot surged to top 10 online home appliance sales, even surpassed Xiaomi mobile phone and Skyworth TV. Europe, the United States, Japan and some other developed countries are progressing rapidly in robotic innovation and application, however developing countries have huge potential market. It is hoped that all stakeholders could uphold the principle of opening up and cooperation, share market and technology, and enjoy a mutually beneficial common development.
Fourthly, we should stick to sharing and benefiting people all over the world. Nowadays, various robot products have been extensively used in industry and people’s daily life. Assembling robot, transportation robot, housework robot and harvest robot, etc. are providing convenient and efficient services to mankind. It is foreseeable that robot will become our indispensable assistant just like mobile phones and computers. The popularization of robot is still handicapped by high cost, single function, low level intelligence, etc. It is hoped that we could stick to the principle of sharing and benefiting people and push forward robot R&D, reduce application cost, introduce robot into thousands of ordinary homes and let people from all over the world enjoy the benefits of science and technology progress.
The World Adolescents Robot Contest 2015 will be held concurrently during the conference. 145 teams from 16 countries and regions will take part in the competition. Youth is the future of science and the hope of innovation. Robot competitions such as RoboCup Junior, World Robot Olympiad are welcomed by youth worldwide. Robot sector attracts the most participants in the China Adolescents Science and Technology Innovation Contest host by CAST. Robot classes are provided in many Chinese elementary schools, middle schools and training institutions. It is hoped that we could set the future of robot on young people, organize more adolescent robot science and technology activities to cultivate interests and trigger innovation in youth, and accumulate fresh force for robot technology and application.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the development of robot technology and industry. Aiming at improving China into a country with strong manufacturing ability, robotics has been listed in the “Made in China 2025 plan” as the priority field. China has ranked as top industrial robot market for two consecutive years, accounting for one quarter of the global sales. However, there are still considerable gaps between Chinese robot R&D and the world cutting edge technologies. The proposal for China’s “13th Five-Year Plan” highlights the ideas of innovation, coordination, green, opening up and sharing. The theme of World Robot Conference 2015 – “Win-win collaborative innovation towards the building of an intelligent society” is in accord with, to great extent, the ideas of the “13th Five-Year Plan”. China, with a more open gesture, would like to welcome robot experts and entrepreneurs from all over the world to communicate and cooperate with us, in order to push forward the development of robot technology and industry, and make greater contribution to the progress of human civilization.