November 12, 2019
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) jointly launched a body called the “Task Force for Promoting Establishment of Implementation Models of Robots” (hereinafter referred to as the “TF”). Through the TF, robot users, system integrators and other experts will collaborate in determining common challenges (e.g., conditions of facilities) in the fields of facility management, retail sales/restaurants and food manufacturing, and will strive to find solutions to such challenges under the leadership of the robot users toward the public implementation of robots applicable to these fields.
METI has been advancing efforts to not only accelerate public implementation of robots but also to promote social change taking advantage of the robots created within Japan, which is an advanced country in terms of solving societal challenges. As part of these efforts, in May 2019, METI, jointly with the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), launched the Council for Promoting Social Change Taking Advantage of Robots and since then, the council has been holding discussions on cross-sectoral measures and in July 2019 they compiled the discussion results into a Plan for Promoting Social Change Taking Advantage of Robots. This plan includes specific goals including: [i] establishment of an ecosystem toward public implementation of robots which involves not only robot manufacturers but also system integrators and users, [ii] human resource development targeting teachers and students of technology-focused colleges and industrial high schools, as an initiative which will ensure collaboration between academic and industrial sectors, and [iii] establishment of systems for basic and applied research, which should be undertaken collaboratively by the industrial and academic sectors, in order to address mid- to long-term challenges.
As a measure for specifying Goal [i] above, METI launched a TF comprised of robot users, system integrators and other robot experts, , aiming to hold discussions on three main fields that are facing escalating labor shortages and other serious challenges: facility management, retail sales/restaurants and food manufacturing. Through the TF, these robot users will aim to create implementation models for robots in these fields. For details of participating companies and other organizations, see the Appendix.
3. Future schedule
The TF will compile and release implementation models for robots in the three fields by around the end of FY2019. Please note that details of the TF’s efforts will not be open to the public to protect critical information on respective participating companies.
Division in Charge
Robotics Policy Office, Industrial Machinery Division, Manufacturing Industries Bureau