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Robotics Industry Forum Looks to Future of the Industry

by Brian Huse , Director, Marketing & PR
Robotic Industries Association

From big news for Platinum members to predictions about the industry, RIA’s Robotics Industry Forum in Orlando (November 7-9, 2007) was packed with market intelligence and high-level networking.

As detailed in a “Robots in America” blog, Platinum Members Emerge at Top of Industry during Robotics Industry Forum, a marketing blitz will highlight RIA’s Platinum suppliers and integrators in 2008. This is a new development that was conceived by RIA’s Membership Committee at the Forum, blessed by the RIA Board at the Forum, and implemented at the Forum. Then and there, three suppliers and one integrator upgraded to Platinum representing more than $30,000 in commitments to the Association – a testament to the leadership and concentration of executive power at the Forum.

With presidential elections on the horizon for the United States and the economic impact that typically follows, industry leaders came to the Forum to hear about the future as much to cement business ties. With a look ahead, RIA introduced its own new president, Richard Litt of Genesis Systems Group, who brings an integrator’s perspective to the Association’s “Oval Office,” and the Forum started with predictions from Don Reynolds, a leading economist. 

Member’s Only Exclusive: 

See presentation notes from Don Reynolds in the Member’s Only section of Robotics Online

Incoming RIA President, Richard Litt, outlined a two-fold initiative for his upcoming term. He plans to position the Association to better address global issues and to be more involved with integrators. If you heard economist Don Reynolds, you would know that there are important considerations for business outside the U.S., and from what he said the growing gap between the dollar and the Euro is a huge opportunity for component and systems makers.

Others in the Association feel the same way about business opportunities throughout the world. During Connectioneering, an exclusive opportunity to connect with top executives during the Forum, Jeff DePree of Halcyon Development, offered advice to those who might need help expanding their global footprint. In fact, his business expertise is to help companies grow outside North America.

“Companies need to look for business partners in other countries,” said DePree. “China, India, Brazil … they love U.S. automation, but Europe is more aggressive in reaching these countries. Companies like Halcyon can help small firms grow internationally.”

Each day at the Forum was filled with information to give business leaders new perspective and find an expanded network of partners. Users like Corning and Ford talked about their wish lists for future technology. Innovators like Red Whittaker, whose team from Carnegie Mellon University won the DARPA Urban Challenge, spoke about new technology that is almost ready for commercialization. Presentations spanned a wide range of industries, applications and topics important to a successful business in the robotics industry.

It was a Forum filled with firsts (Platinum membership surged ahead), and loaded with news and predictions (from RIA’s new president commenting on his agenda to an informed economic outlook). Networking was also in high gear, from Connectioneering to fun mixers in the evening. Thank you to all the RIA member companies that participated, and if you missed it, keep in touch as we will post more information online and in the Member’s Only section of Robotics Online.

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