Future is soon

R2-D2 wearing a nursing gown?

The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing were a good opportunity to witness live examples of robots interacting with humans in daily tasks – from guidance robots, also scanning QR codes from peoples’ phones at the venue entrance, to smart restaurants where robots cooked burgers and shook up cocktails, to anti-epidemic cleaning robots disinfecting vast surfaces in no time using Ultra Violets.

Do you know that robot nurses are becoming common in Japanese hospitals and elderly homes? They are able to deliver items in virtually no time, monitor patients’ vital signs using AI-assisted vision, and even have social interactions with elderly or mentally challenged patients. Good old R2-D2 is long gone!

Robot nurses can help answer the issue of rising care needs in a society challenged by an ageing population and a lack of caregivers in hospitals. More broadly, adding many other applications such as robot-assisted surgery, the global market for medical robots is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.7% through 2029 and reach USD 34.5 billion[1].



[1] Data Bridge Market Research

No sector is exempt from innovation and progress

Medical robots are a striking example in nature due to the profoundly human vision we have of care giving, but they are just a mere example of the technological breakthroughs that are shaping the future in ways we cannot even currently imagine.


Technological progress seems unstoppable and innovation is everywhere, all sectors of the economy are concerned: industry, agriculture, services.



Besides, innovation is instrumental to tackle the environmental challenges that we are facing: we need to come up with solutions to take better care of our planet. Solar panels, energy efficient semi conductors are small steps in this direction.

Robotics : no longer sci-fi

Johan Van Der Biest, Deputy Head of Thematic Global Equity, thematic portfolio manager and expert in innovative technology, explains why robotization and automation are compelling trends, giving examples of technologies he has come across while analyzing investing opportunities. He also points the importance of integrating an ESG perspective in his approach.

Want to learn about innovative technologies?

A sensitive matter – this is why a sustainable approach is essential

While progress may seem good at first sight, we believe each investment opportunity should be carefully analyzed to make sure that technology is used for good. We would all agree on the advantages of automation of assembly lines in the automobile industry, but what about armament robots? We all extensively use mobile phones and connected apps which are deeply familiar with our daily habits, but what about the potential misuse of personal data?

We got it covered.

This is how we make sure our investments are contributing to a better future.


Our first step is to exclude from our investment universe the companies that breach the principles of the UN Global Compact (for example relative to human rights or labor rights), and we also exclude companies that are involved in controversial activities such as armament, tobacco, oppressive regimes.

Our second step is to make sustainability a core element of our fundamental analysis. On top of analyzing companies fundamentals, our approach looks at their business activities as well as their stakeholders, this means that we analyze the companies’ behavior towards clients, providers, shareholders, and the environment. While we look for organic growth, we want to make sure that this is not at the expense of the customers’ health or wellbeing, the employees’ working conditions, or the environment.

  • FR
    Robotique : ce n’est plus de la science-fiction
  • NL
    Robotica: geen sciencefiction meer
  • IT
    Robotica: non è più fantascienza
  • ES
    La robótica ya no es ciencia ficción
  • EN
    Robotics: no longer sci-f
  • DE
    Roboter: keine science-fiction mehr

30 years of experience make a real difference

Through its thirty years of investing in technology, our team has built a well-structured thematic framework to identify the most impactful sub-trends within the various sectors.

This approach relies on three important pillars.

  • An analysis of the competitive advantages of every new technology that comes to the market or is under development. We are constantly looking for disruptive technologies, and if we assess them as important, we will invest in the companies that develop that technology while avoiding the disrupted companies.
  • A third-party artificial intelligence tool, which helps us look for new trends, new and innovative technologies in a gigantic database.
  • Access to a huge network of independent advisors, industry experts that usually encounter new trends and technologies ahead of the investment community. This is key in tech where innovation brings up new sets of possibilities every day.

Surgical robots, autonomous driving, Big Data, cybersecurity, 5G, cloud, artificial intelligence, … do you want to be part of it and build a better future?

Johan Van Der Biest
Deputy Head of Thematic Global Equity, Lead Manager for our robotization and automation strategy
Beside financial analysis, our investment approach integrates a careful assessment of the companies’ business activities as well as their stakeholders’ interests. We want to make sure the candidates truly contribute positively to the society’s health and wellbeing, or to climate change.

All investment strategies involve risks

Including the risk of capital loss. The main risks associated with the robotization and automation strategy are:

  • Risk of capital loss
  • ESG investment risk
  • Equity risk
  • Currency risk
  • Liquidity risk
  • Concentration risk
  • Risk related to derivative financial instruments

ESG Investment Risk: The non-financial objectives presented in this document are based upon the realization of assumptions made by Candriam. These assumptions are made according to Candriam’s ESG rating models, the implementation of which necessitates access to various quantitative as well as qualitative data, depending on the sector and the exact activities of a given company. The availability, the quality and the reliability of these data can vary, and therefore can affect Candriam’s ESG ratings. For more information on ESG investment risk, please refer to the Transparency Codes, or the prospectus if a fund.

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