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EU launches ambitious civilian robotics program

BRUSSELS, June 3 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission together with 180 companies and research organizations on Tuesday launch the so-called world's largest civilian research and innovation program in robotics.

The program is expected to be a big help on job creation at European Union(EU)level, according to an official EU statement.

The new initiative, called SPARC covers manufacturing, agriculture, health, transport, civil security and households, is deemed as the EU's industrial policy effort to strengthen Europe's position in the global robotics market which is estimated to worth 60 billion euros (82 billion U.S. dollars) a year by 2020.

According to the statement,the initiative is expected to create over 240,000 jobs in Europe, and increase Europe's share of the global market to 42 percent. The European Commission will invest 700 million euros and euRobotics, a Brussels based international non-profit association, 2.1 billion euros.

"Integrating robots into European industry helps us create and keep jobs in Europe,"European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes was quoted as saying in the statement.

President of euRobotics Bernd Liepert believes "SPARC will ensure the competitiveness of European robotics industries," adding that robot-based automation solutions are essential to overcome societal challenges from demographic change to mobility to sustainable production. (1 euro = 1.36 U.S. dollars)

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