Noord Brabant has a new robotics player: Mujin sets up its European headquarters in Eindhoven

Intelligent robotics company Mujin opened its European branch in Eindhoven, choosing the region as a stepping stone for its European development.
10 January 2024

A new international company joined Noord Brabant’s thriving high-tech ecosystem. The Japanese Mujin established its European headquarters in Eindhoven. The firm started operations in late 2023 and will be fully operational this year.

Mujin is an intelligent robotics company founded in 2011. In Japanese, Mujin means unmanned, and the company develops intelligent robot controllers. Mujin developed machine intelligence that allows factory robots to make decisions in real-time, speeding up processes and making robots perform any application through its MujinController platform.

With around 300 employees worldwide – two-thirds of them employed in R&D – the Japanese company has opened its European branch in Strijp T, Eindhoven, the first stepping stone towards European expansion. In looking to set foot in Europe, the Noord Brabant region represented the best option, both in terms of proximity to some company customers and of an attractive ecosystem, explains Lukasz Drewnowski, Mujin Europe’s CEO.

“It’s a very international area, dynamic and full of young talent. Eindhoven is a relatively neat size, and it looks like everybody knows each other,” he underlines. Such a closeness is a positive aspect, as per Drewnowski. “Very often, high-tech companies get stuck because they have a problem to solve and need a lot of time to deal with it. Here, the network can help you reach the right people and resolve any issues faster.”

Lukasz Drewnowski, Mujin Europe’s CEO.

Automating supply chain processes

Mujin is the fastest-growing intelligent robotics company in Japan. Moreover, it was the first company in the world to develop an intelligent controller for picking robots leveraging AI. Last September, the company raised $85 million in series C funding to accelerate the development of its automation, which makes robotic appliances fully responsive and automated.

Developing a new robotic arm from scratch at a supply chain facility can take several months. This is because the tool needs to be manually configured, requiring companies also to create their own robot management software. Through Mujin’s hardware controller, much of the manual automation work gets automated. The controller can analyze the merchandise a company seeks to process using machine learning, thus understanding how to improve task performance.

The attractiveness of Noord Brabant

In establishing its European headquarters, Mujin is supported by the Brabant Development Agency (Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij, BOM). Drenowski positively assesses the experience with the development agency. From business-related aspects to life practicalities, Brouwer’s team was up to help. “We were surrounded by highly professional people, and things went very smoothly. They helped us find an office space, get in touch with the governmental agencies that are granting the visas to our employees, and we’ve been introduced to a network of similar companies in the region.”

The area includes several part manufacturers as well as many robotics companies, thus being appealing to a company like Mujin. Besides, with an active manufacturing sector, the Japanese company can also find many new potential customers. Logistically speaking, both Rotterdam and Antwerp harbors are around the corner, and component manufacturers are within a 30 km radius of Eindhoven.

“If you think you are the most advanced company in the world in what you do, then you want to stay among similar companies. I think our people have a lot to add here and can get plenty of input to be inspired by, with other companies doing amazing things in this region. The fact that there is a whole ecosystem of entrepreneurs, large companies, and governmental agencies that can help us grow in Europe is great; we don’t feel alone,” adds Drewnowski.

Maarten Brouwer, lead of foreign investments at BOM, sees Mujin as a very positive addition to the existing ecosystem. “First of all, we have a staff shortage in Brabant, so any firm that can help our companies make their production more efficient is welcome. Secondly, we see their knowledge and expertise as a good addition to our ecosystem,” he underscores, also hinting at possible projects involving students from the local university.

Adding value

In fact, the company plans to start with initially ten employees, hoping to scale up as European businesses expand. “Ultimately, we want our staff to be a mix of local and international talent, as it is in other branches of the company,” says Mujin Europe’s CEO. For sure, Mujin will bring its holistic approach to problem-solving and its expertise to the whole region.

“I’m happy to say that our region is an attractor for such a research-intensive company. Besides, it also helps my team to engage with other companies that might be considering becoming part of it, ” Brouwer sums up.

Maarten Brouwer, lead of foreign investments at BOM

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