Stepan Zemtsov, Senior researcher of the Innovation Economics Department at the Gaidar Institute, shared his opinion with Nezavisimaya gazeta on the prospects of development of robotics in Russia.

The main consumers of robotic solutions in Russia could be tens of thousands of manufacturing enterprises, as follows from the materials of the publication. The stimulus for the introduction of automation in enterprises is the high degree of wear and tear of equipment due to technological progress. According to Rosstat, as of the end of 2022, depreciation of fixed assets in the economy was 40.5% as a whole, while in the manufacturing sector it reaches 52%. There is a need for large-scale renovation. However, as of this year, the number of projects from integrator companies implementing such solutions does not exceed about 1000 according to the National Association of Robotics Market Participants (NAURR).

In addition, the industry is experiencing employees’ shortages. The urgent task is to increase domestic production, both military and civilian; enterprises should monitor the labor market in search of workers. Robotics could compensate for the shortage of employees, however, live labor is considered a cheaper solution but less effective for enterprises experiencing a shortage of investment resources.

Overall, Russia has enormous growth potential when it comes to robotics. According to the International Federation of Robotics ranking (for 2021), the leader in robotics is South Korea with Singapore in second place, Japan in third, and Germany next. Russia ranks extremely low in this rating, but the domestic industrial robotics market has become one of the leaders in terms of robotics growth rate over the past 2 years.

“By all means, employees’ shortages are a stimulus for robotics, but along with these shortages Russia lacks competencies and technology. Limiting access to foreign technology resulting from sanctions severely compromises plans to robotize production. Foreign products represented over 90% of industrial robots in the Russian market.

It is not an easy and fast task to restructure production processes and create domestic analogues," believes Stepan Zemtsov.