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I2: Robotics start-ups in the EU


The I2 – Robotics start-ups in the EU indicator presents the number of new robotics businesses founded each year (the blue line in the graph).

This indicator provides insights about the vitality of this sector, in which the EU stands out as shown by indicator G5. In order to complement the information, the indicator is plotted together with the cumulative number of robotics start-ups, which is calculated as an aggregation of start-ups in a year but does not remove firms that do not survive. Therefore this cumulative number is expected to overestimate the total number of active start-ups.

The European Union

The growth of new businesses in the field of robotics is consistent over time in the EU.

Starting from a level of slightly more than 300 start-ups present in 1996 (red surface), every year a considerable amount of them is founded, starting with over 50 new start-ups in the late 1990s, and reaching a peak of +365 in 2015 (blue line). For most of the period, we observe an acceleration in the pace of creation of new robotics start-ups (blue line), leading to an annual increase of around 10% of the cumulative number of start-ups from 2003 to 2015 (red surface).

This constant creation of new businesses indicates that the sector is solidly rooted in the EU and that it is able to attract and stimulate new entrepreneurial activities, which is a key point to maintain competitiveness over time. In the last years of the period considered, from 2016 to 2019, the number of new robotics start-ups seems to find stability around a yearly number of 300 new start-ups per year, which leads to a positive but flatter growth of the cumulative number of robotics’ start-ups (red surface). However, this could also reflect delays in the data collection, due to the difficulty of capturing recently created firms. Thus, the trend observed in the last years could change as data sources are updated.


Factsheet1 February 2022
I2: Robotics start-ups in the EU