Robotics investment fund claims 40 per cent returns in one year

A robotics investment fund claims it has seen returns of almost 40 per cent since it was established a year ago, according to a report on Business Insider

Botz is a Nadaq-listed exchange-traded fund, which has holdings in a variety of companies in the robotics and artificial intelligence sectors.

ETFs are like shares in a collection of different companies – usually in a particular sector such as robotics and AI – and they are sold as though they were shares in one company.  Continue reading Robotics investment fund claims 40 per cent returns in one year

Interview: Leading robotics and automation fund manager planning to launch new investment vehicle

The news that investments in robotics and automation companies have out-performed all other investments on the stock market will only add to the allure of this sector. 

Fuelled by a renewed fascination and technological advancement in artificial intelligence, investors are enthusiastically looking for funds and companies in which to put their money.

There’s very few investments in life or in history that can offer get-rich-quick returns, but certainly a wise investor could make substantial returns if they are careful with their money.  Continue reading Interview: Leading robotics and automation fund manager planning to launch new investment vehicle

JPMorgan to employ trading robot because it’s more efficient than humans

One of the world’s largest investment banks, JPMorgan, is preparing to employ a robot to work in its global equities business because it’s shown itself to be more efficient than traditional methods of buying and selling, according to a report on the Financial Times website. 

The artificial intelligence-based algorithm, which is called LOXM, has been tested in the US and Asia over the first quarter of this year, adds the FT.

The newspaper quotes David Fellah, of JPMorgan’s European Equity Quant Research team, as saying the work LOXM will do was previously done by humans, “but now the AI machine is able to do it on a much larger and more efficient scale”.

Plenty attracts ‘largest-ever agriculture technology investment’ led by SoftBank to develop indoor farms in city centres

A company called Plenty claims it has attracted the “largest-ever agriculture technology investment”. 

The company says the investment will drive its development of its global, large-scale indoor farm network to deliver “radically fresher, affordable food to local communities everywhere”.

Plenty describes itself as a “field-scale indoor farming company remaking the global food system”.  Continue reading Plenty attracts ‘largest-ever agriculture technology investment’ led by SoftBank to develop indoor farms in city centres

Interview: Big data suggests there’s a trade war looming

Port of Los Angeles, in the US
Port of Los Angeles, in the US

One of the wonders of the modern, computerised world is the emergence of data science. Data science is, arguably, at the heart of most successful businesses today, and its favourite food is big data. 

For Panjiva, data science and big data enables it to keep track of virtually all goods moving from one country to another, with a particular emphasis on the US market.

But while it might sound straightforward to some, the actual collation and preparation of the data, and then the presentation of it, is not a simple process.  Continue reading Interview: Big data suggests there’s a trade war looming

Foxconn evaluating US locations for $10 billion expansion plans

foxconn
A Foxconn production line with workers making iPhones. Picture: Flickr

Foxconn, the main manufacturer for Apple’s smartphones and tablet computers, is looking for locations in the US to invest $10 billion into setting up factories, according to a variety of reports in the media. 

The company has already earmarked $7 billion for a display panel factory after buying the Sharp electronics company, although it’s not certain where it will be located.

The Taiwanese company’s newly found interest in the US comes after President Donald Trump made it clear that he prioritises the reinvigoration of the country’s manufacturing base.  Continue reading Foxconn evaluating US locations for $10 billion expansion plans

Growing demand for consumer robots will lead to global spending on robots increasing to $87 billion by 2025, says BCG

pepper robot
SoftBank’s Pepper robot has proved hugely popular, and could lead to other companies producing similar robots in ever-increasing numbers

The global market for robotics is growing far faster than expected and is projected to reach $87 billion by 2025, according to new research by the Boston Consulting Group.

Updating its previous estimate of $67 billion from three years ago, the management consulting firm recently revised its forecast sharply higher, mostly because of soaring consumer demand.

In a new paper released today, Gaining Robotics Advantage, BCG projects an additional $14 billion of growth in the consumer sector to $23 billion, an increase of 156 per cent over its earlier estimate.  Continue reading Growing demand for consumer robots will lead to global spending on robots increasing to $87 billion by 2025, says BCG

Bosch to build gigantic semiconductor production plant in Germany

bosch_waferfab-reutlingen 111

German industrial giant Bosch is building a massive semiconductor production plant which would represent the single largest investment in the company’s 130-year history. 

The high-tech facility, to be located in Dresden, would employ around 700 staff working on 300-millimeter semiconductor chips which Bosch says has growing applications in the automotive market, smart cities and on the industrial internet, all strong markets for Bosch.

The construction of the high-tech factory is to be completed by the end of 2019, says Bosch, and production is expected to begin at the end of 2021 after a start-up phase. Overall, the investment volume for the site is estimated to be around $1.1 billion.  Continue reading Bosch to build gigantic semiconductor production plant in Germany

Apple invests $200 million into Corning’s ‘revolutionary’ glass production methods

apple corning investment
Corning recaptures glass material for use in the production process and to help reduce waste. Pictures courtesy of Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently set up a $1 billion fund for the tech giant to invest in advanced manufacturing in the US, and the company has allocated $200 million of that money to a company called Corning

Corning – which has been supplying the cover glass for iOS devices for the past 10 years – will receive the $200 million from Apple’s new Advanced Manufacturing Fund as part of what Apple calls its “commitment to foster innovation among American manufacturers”.

The investment will support Corning’s research and development, capital equipment needs and “state-of-the-art glass processing”.  Continue reading Apple invests $200 million into Corning’s ‘revolutionary’ glass production methods

uShip raises $25 million to fund logistics automation plan

uship

uShip, the online shipping marketplace and freight automation software provider, has closed a $25 million Series D round led by DB Schenker, one of the world’s largest logistics companies and an existing uShip partner.

DB Schenker’s funding comes on the heels of unprecedented investment in logistics and supply chain technology.

Since 2015, top pure-play logistics corporations have made 26 investments and/or acquisitions – totalling 13 each year – while logistics tech startups were on pace to raise $5 billion through over 300 deals in 2016, according to CB Insights.  Continue reading uShip raises $25 million to fund logistics automation plan

Manufacturing sector driving production increase in UK

airbus in the uk

Forecast of $20.59 billion investment in manufacturing IoT by 2021 as British growth in production relies on manufacturing

UK manufacturing contributed to a 1.1 percent increase in total production between November and December 2016, according to the latest Office for National Statistics figures published today.

These latest figures come amongst the highest levels of optimism seen in the sector since June 2015.

Yet as the weaker pound continues to be a double-edged sword for British industry, the manufacturing sector must become a priority area for innovations that will help UK businesses to compete globally, says systems integrator World Wide Technology.

The stated aim of the government’s new industrial strategy is to determine priority areas of investment in science, research and innovation to support the UK’s world-leading sectors.  Continue reading Manufacturing sector driving production increase in UK

US President Donald Trump orders reduction of manufacturing and construction bureaucracy

US President Donald Trump at the White House yesterday. Picture: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
US President Donald Trump at the White House yesterday. Picture: Reuters / Kevin Lamarque

Newly inaugurated US President Donald Trump has signed an order aimed at reducing the amount of bureaucracy involved in getting permissions and licences in the manufacturing and construction sectors. 

Trump got elected partly on a platform to rejuvenate manufacturing and industry – or his “make it in America” mantra – and these first few days have seen some big changes proposed.

The order he signed is designed to streamline the administrative process, which Trump said was “incredibly cumbersome, long, horrible”.  Continue reading US President Donald Trump orders reduction of manufacturing and construction bureaucracy

Siemens to invest $133 million in Canadian operations

siemens and seneca college canada
Last year, Seneca College and Siemens Canada opened what they said was Ontario’s first Mechatronics Simulation and Demonstration Centre

Siemens plans to invest $110.6 million in research and development activities at its plant in Dorval, Canada to design and make improvements to aero-derivative gas turbines.

These turbines are used for, among other things, the production of electricity, and serve as a backup source in the event that the existing network is unable to meet the demand.

The engineering company also plans to invest $22 million to launch a platform of expertise related to Industry 4.0 and the implementation of a training system integrated into the workplace.  Continue reading Siemens to invest $133 million in Canadian operations

ABB to invest $90 million in new research centre in Canada

abb montreal

Engineering giant ABB is to invest another $90 million into a research and development centre in Canada. 

The Swiss company, which also is one of the world’s biggest industrial robot manufacturers, is to establish its new North American research and development facility in Montréal.

As a result of the investment, Canadians will develop next-generation solutions for electric vehicles, says the government in a statement. Continue reading ABB to invest $90 million in new research centre in Canada

General Motors to invest an extra $1 billion in US manufacturing

gm building

General Motors says it will invest an additional $1 billion into its manufacturing operations in the US, adding to the $2.9 billion of investment it announced last year. 

And in a what may have been an extra comment aimed at President-elect Donald Trump, GM says it has invested a total of $21 billion in its US manufacturing operations since 2009.

Like virtually all other automakers and large manufacturing companies, such as Apple, GM has been the target of some criticism from Trump, who wants to fulfil his campaign promise to bring back manufacturing jobs to the US.  Continue reading General Motors to invest an extra $1 billion in US manufacturing