Europe invests to boost robotic technologies

Posted on 04 Apr 2018 and read 497 times
Europe invests to boost robotic technologiesIn the next three years, Robot Union (www.robotunion.eu) will select 40 start-ups to develop robotic projects linked to the manufacturing, agri-food, health and civil infrastructure industries.

The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland will be the technical coordinator of this 8 million euro ‘robotics accelerator’, and it will lead over 50% of the project activities in conjunction with FundingBox (www.fundingbox.com).

Robot Union says that the aim of the programme is to “discover, support and fund innovative projects in the robotics industry”, adding that it will address the two major barriers that hinder the development and market uptake of robotics technologies for entrepreneurs and start-ups: the high set-up costs; and the lack of awareness of the potential benefits.

Ali Muhammad, the technical co-ordinator of the project at VTT, said: “This is a unique opportunity for the SMEs to use robotics and enter the world of artificial intelligence.

“The Robot Union accelerator will bring the top researchers and entrepreneurs together to stimulate new robotics innovations in Europe.”

The 20 start-ups and SMEs, selected in each of the two ‘open calls’ to be launched by Robot Union, will enter into an ‘acceleration programme’ lasting six to 12 months. Each selected company will receive (free) up to 223,000 euros for its initial funding stages.

The best performing companies participating in the programme will obtain an additional 1 million euros of private investment from the Chrysalix Venture Capital and Odense Seed & Venture.

Extensive technical support will be provided by the leading institutes in robotics R&D in Europe: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the Danish Technological Institute, TU Delft, Tecnalia and PIAP. Robot Union will
further boost the visibility of start-ups and SMEs in the robotics sector through participation in top international events.

The first call for start-ups and SMEs is scheduled for April. The project comes under the framework of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme.

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