The global pharmaceutical robots market was valued at US$ 92.73 Mn in 2017 and is projected to expand at a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 12.1% from 2018 to 2026, according to a new report titled ‘Pharmaceutical Robots Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2018 – 2026’ published by Transparency Market Research (TMR) in May 2018. The report states that high adoption of robots, robust pharmaceutical industry across the globe, increase in funding for robotics research, and launch of newer therapies etc. are expected to spur the expansion of the pharmaceutical robots market during the forecast period from 2018 to 2026. Asia Pacific and Europe are projected to dominate the global pharmaceutical robots market in the near future, primarily due to rise in the number of domestic robot companies, blooming pharmaceutical sector, and rise in the number of conferences and exhibitions, and increase in funding in the industrial robots industry in these regions.
Asia Pacific is estimated to dominate the global pharmaceutical robots market by the end of 2026. This is due to the presence of a large number of local pharmaceutical companies, robot strategy adopted by countries such as China and Japan, and various initiatives undertaken by governments and non-profit organizations to promote awareness regarding the benefits offered by robotics. The pharmaceutical robots market in Asia Pacific is expected to expand at a CAGR of more than 13% from 2018 to 2026.
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Technological Advancements and Significant Penetration of Robotics to Fuel the Global Market
Pharmaceutical robots are adept at performing tasks at rates that far exceed human capability. These robots are capable of functioning in perilous settings in proximity to biological dangers such as threat of radioactive contamination and toxic chemotherapy compounds. Robots are used in applications such as drug discovery, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing, and performing blood sample testing. Moreover, pharmaceutical companies are utilizing robots on large scale for scientific research. Factors such as rise in awareness about robotic machines and their increasing usage are leading to generation of large revenue for pharmaceutical robots market segment. The ability of these robots to inspect as well as pack drugs in pharmaceutical companies and laboratories is fuelling the market. The newest updated robots are included in the collaborative robots segment, which is expected expand at a high CAGR over the forecast period. These robots offer new and advanced technology and permit interaction between humans and robots. Also, these robots are economical and offer easy maintenance.
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Collaborative Robots to be an Attractive Product Segment
The report offers detailed segmentation of the global pharmaceutical robots market based on type, application, and end-user. In terms of type, the collaborative robots segment is anticipated to expand at a significant CAGR during the forecast period. Collaborative robots are widely used in the life sciences sector owing to the accuracy, efficiency, and reproducibility offered by them. Moreover, collaborative robots can work alongside humans. Collaborative robots are economical, lightweight, and require minimum skills to be operated upon. These factors are expected to propel the collaborative robots segment in the coming years.
Picking and Packaging Segment Dominates the Market
In terms of application, the picking and packaging segment is projected to dominate the global pharmaceutical robots market during the forecast period and is estimated to expand at a CAGR of more than 12% from 2018 to 2026. There has been a tremendous rise in demand for personalized packaging leading to the increased usage of robots. The advantages offered by robotic machines in the field of pharmaceuticals include speed, accurate track and trace, and optimal floor space utilization. A large number of traditional robots such as VS-068A2 and VP-6242G produced by Denso Wave Incorporated are used for picking and packaging. Thus, picking and packaging is regarded as the most apt usage of robots.
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Pharmaceutical Companies are Prominent End-users in the Market
In terms of end-user, the pharmaceutical companies segment is projected to hold a dominant share of the global pharmaceutical robots market during the forecast period. The segment is likely to expand at CAGR of 12.8% from 2018 to 2026. Factors such as rise in adoption of robots in the pharmaceutical sector owing to rise in drug discoveries and development are fuelling the expansion of the segment. Moreover, there has been an increase in development of personalized medicine and clinical trials in the pharmaceutical sector, which is further propelling the market.
Significant Incremental Opportunity in Asia Pacific Region
In terms of value, Asia Pacific dominated the global pharmaceutical robots market in 2017. The market share of the region is estimated to rise by the end of 2026. The dominance of the Asia Pacific region can be primarily attributed to the presence of a large number of local pharmaceutical companies in countries such as Japan and China. The local presence of leading pharmaceutical companies with large manufacturing units in these countries is expected to propel expansion of this region. The pharmaceutical robots market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to expand at a rapid rate during the forecast period.
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Key Trend of Mergers and Acquisitions and New Product Development in the International Market is Observed among Leading Players
The report also provides profiles of the leading players operating in the global pharmaceutical robots market. Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., FANUC America Corporation, ABB Ltd., Yaskawa Electric Corporation, Denso Wave Inc., and Universal Robots A/S are some of the prominent players in the market with proprietary products and technologies. The major growth strategies adopted by these companies include mergers & acquisitions, new product development, as well as regional expansions. For instance, in 2016, FANUC America Corporation opened four new facilities, relocated three facilities, and added three new regional training centers. In 2017, Universal Robots launched Universal Robots Academy that offers free online training in robot programming in order to raise awareness about automation.
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UK’s Sunak to build bridge to recovery with more spending
By William Schomberg
LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak will next week promise yet more spending to prop up the economy during what he hopes will be the last phase of lockdown, but he will also probably signal tax rises ahead to plug the huge hole in the public finances.
Sunak, who is due to announce a new budget plan on March 3, has already racked up more than 280 billion pounds ($397 billion) in coronavirus spending and tax cuts, pushing Britain’s borrowing to a peacetime record.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to lift England’s current lockdown entirely only in late June so Sunak is expected to rely heavily on the debt markets again.
His job retention scheme, paying 80% of employees’ wages, will probably be extended beyond a scheduled April 30 expiry date, further inflating its estimated cost of 70 billion pounds. Support for the self-employed looks set to stay too.
Businesses are demanding Sunak keep other lifelines, such as exempting the firms hardest hit by the lockdown from property taxes and giving them a value-added tax cut.
And calls are growing for an extension of a 20 pounds-a-week emergency welfare increase due to expire in April.
The Times newspaper said Sunak would prolong his stamp duty property tax break for three months until the end of June.
Sunak hopes that by then Britain will be emerging from its deep freeze thanks to Europe’s fastest vaccination programme.
Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane likens the economy to a “coiled spring” primed with the savings that households have built up after being stuck at home.
A strong recovery would mean a jump in tax revenues, doing some of the Treasury’s job of fixing the public finances.
Rupert Harrison, an aide to former finance minister George Osborne, said Sunak should not try to slash Britain’s 2.1 trillion-pound debt mountain, equivalent to 98% of GDP – a ratio unthinkable for decades.
Instead he should write new budget rules tied to the cost of debt servicing, which is close to record lows.
“We can safely carry higher levels of debt than before,” Harrison told a webinar organised by Onward, a think-tank.
But the scale of Britain’s borrowing is raising questions about how long Sunak and Johnson can stick to their promises not to raise key taxes, made to voters before the 2019 election.
The huge costs of tackling the worst of the coronavirus pandemic are likely to ease in the months ahead, meaning this year’s 400 billion pound budget deficit should narrow.
But Britain is probably on course to be stuck with a gap of 60 billion pounds between revenues and day-to-day spending by the mid-2020s, the Institute for Fiscal Studies think-tank says.
In a nod to that, Sunak is expected to start raising Britain’s low corporation tax rate.
The Sunday Times said the rate would rise steadily to bring in an extra 12 billion pounds a year by the time of the next election, due in 2024.
Other options include ending a freeze on fuel duty increases which has been in place since 2012 and looks at odds with Britain’s plans to be carbon net zero by 2050.
But higher fuel prices now would hurt the haulage industry, already struggling with Brexit-related disruption, and could alienate working-class voters who backed Johnson in 2019.
Higher capital gains tax or lower pension incentives would anger lawmakers in Johnson’s Conservative Party.
David Gauke, a former deputy finance minister, said the only big revenue-raising options were the ones that Johnson has promised not to touch – income tax, VAT and national insurance contributions.
“In the end, they are going to have to say, sorry we just can’t responsibly maintain that manifesto commitment,” Gauke told the Onward webinar.
($1 = 0.7046 pounds)
(Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Catherine Evans)
Women inch towards equal legal rights despite COVID-19 risks, World Bank says
By Sonia Elks
(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Women gained legal rights in nearly 30 countries last year despite disruption due to COVID-19, but governments must do more to ease the disproportionate burden shouldered by women during the pandemic, the World Bank said on Tuesday.
Nations should prioritise gender equality in economic recovery efforts, the bank said, warning that progress on equal rights was threatened by heavier job losses in female-dominated sectors, increased childcare and a surge in domestic violence.
“This pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities that disadvantage girls and women,” David Malpass, World Bank Group president, said in a statement accompanying the annual “Women, Business and the Law” report.
“Women should have the same access to finance and the same rights to inheritance as men and must be at the centre of our efforts toward an inclusive and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
A total of 27 countries reformed laws or regulations to give women more economic equality with men in 2019-20, said the report, which grades 190 nations on laws and regulations that affect women’s economic opportunities.
While countries in all of the world’s regions made improvements in the new index – with most reforms addressing pay and parenthood, women on average still have only about three quarters of the rights granted to men, the report found.
Notably, nearly 40 countries brought in extra benefit or leave policies to help employees balance their jobs with the extra childcare needs created by coronavirus restrictions.
But such measures were “few and far between” worldwide and will probably not go far enough to tackle the “motherhood penalty” many women face in the workplace, it said.
The report also noted separate data from a United Nations tool tracking gender-sensitive pandemic responses which found 70% of such measures addressed violence, with just 10% targeting women’s economic security.
The pandemic could result in “a backslide on various hard-won advances in women’s rights achieved in recent years”, said Antonia Kirkland, the global lead on legal equality at women’s rights organisation Equality Now.
“This disruption is a unique opportunity for countries to rebuild more resilient, inclusive and prosperous economies,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by email.
“But this can only be achieved alongside the removal of sex discriminatory laws that prevent women from participating fully and equally in economic, social and family life.”
(Reporting by Sonia Elks @soniaelks; Editing by Helen Popper. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)
Digital health checks vital to travel recovery, Heathrow says
By Sarah Young
LONDON (Reuters) – Digital health checks will be vital to a recovery in foreign travel from the COVID-19 pandemic, Britain’s Heathrow airport said on Wednesday, after a collapse in passenger numbers saw it plunge to a 2 billion pound ($2.8 billion) loss last year.
The UK government said on Monday trips abroad could restart in mid-May as its vaccination campaign kicks in, sparking a surge in holiday bookings.
It is also looking into a digital health passport or app to help ease restrictions, while conceding the benefits have to be weighed against potential risks to civil liberties.
But Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said digital technology, and international agreements, would be vital to reviving a travel industry on its knees.
“It’s absolutely critical and that’s one of the main things that government needs to work on,” he said, when asked about a digital health app.
At present, paper checks on COVID-19 test results and passenger locator forms take 20 minutes per traveller at Heathrow, making travel near impossible should passenger numbers rise from current low levels.
Britain’s biggest airport said it was “very likely” people would be able to go on their summer holidays, but expects passenger numbers will take time to recover.
The airport, west of London, is forecasting 25 million passengers in the second half of the year, meaning it would be operating at about 50% capacity.
Heathrow, owned by Spain’s Ferrovial, the Qatar Investment Authority, China Investment Corp and others, last year lost its title as Europe’s busiest airport to Paris after its flight schedules shrank more than those of its rivals.
Passenger numbers plunged 73% to 22 million people last year, with half of those travelling during January and February, before the pandemic shut down global travel in March.
Heathrow said it had 3.9 billion pounds of liquidity, giving it sufficient resources to keep going with low levels of traffic until 2023, despite the 2 billion loss before tax for 2020.
The airport urged the government to provide business tax breaks for big airports, something only available to smaller airports so far, and to extend the furlough job support scheme to help it financially before the recovery takes off.
($1 = 0.7044 pounds)
(Reporting by Sarah Young. Editing by James Davey and Mark Potter)
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