The COVID-19 pandemic has had overwhelming impacts on our economy, not to mention the impact on lives and personal wellness. The critical lack of medical equipment to treat and protect those affected highlights the over-reliance of United States manufacturing sector on overseas production. The offshoring issue extends beyond current pandemic concerns, however, reaching far larger and more permanent concerns over industrial supply chains, worker training and even national security.
This paper examines the nature and prospects of robotics and associated production technologies, reviews the literature on their impact on spatial dynamics, reviews recent data on robotic adoption, including controlling for robot adoption rates by domestic worker compensation rates, and speculates on future trends in the spatial distribution of manufacturing.
Canadian industry and thought leaders view digitization as a way to enhance the competitiveness of the economy; digitization can also improve the delivery of services such as health care. In order to achieve this vision, new data value chains are needed. Data value chains would allow participants in existing supply chains to share data, gain new insights, solve problems and become more efficient. Standards are required to clarify the roles and responsibilities of participants.