Bratislava, Slovakia – According to a report released by the International Federation of Robotics, Slovakia is the leading Central and Eastern European country in terms of robotics innovation and robot density. With 151 robots per 10.000 employees in the manufacturing industry, Slovakia outranks all neighboring states, as well as countries like France, Finland and China, and takes the 15th spot worldwide. Slovakia is also well above European average (106 robots per 10.000 employees).
South Korea (710 robots per 10.000 employees) and Singapore (658) are by far the most innovative countries in robotics, followed by Germany, Japan and Sweden.
Slovakia’s automotive industry, pillar of its economy and manufacturing sector, accounts for most of these robotics advances. In 2016, out of the over 1.700 multifunctional industrial robots obtained by Slovak businesses, nearly 90% of them went to the automotive industry, according to The Slovak Spectator.
With over one million cars manufactured per year, Slovakia is the first car producer per capita in the world, the 20th biggest car producer in the world and 6th in the European Union – figures that should continue to rise in the near future as British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover starts production in Nitra. Jaguar is the fourth major manufacturer to open a plant in Slovakia after Volkswagen (near Bratislava), Kia (Zilina) and PSA Peugeot Citroën (Trnava).
Automation is one of the main challenges facing the Slovak economy and labour market. According to the OECD Job Creation and Local Economic Development report, the small landlocked Central European country is the most vulnerable country in the world to automation and robotization – especially Western Slovakia, where most of the car manufacturers and suppliers are located. According to OECD estimates, 33% of jobs in the country are considered highly automatable and 70% of them are deemed more or less exposed to automation (compared to an OECD average of 45%).