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IST-FET launches a 'Network of excellence' on 'European Robotics Network'.

FET, the Unit dealing with Future and Emerging Technologies and acting as the pathfinder of IST by exploring new science and technology frontiers, has launched a network of excellence in the area of Robotics, EURON.

20 October 2004 - 20 October 2004
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Europe is already today the leader in industrial robotics while at the same time experiencing a significant aging of society. This change in demographics will have consequences on industry, style of living, entertainment, etc. A key contributor to the development of aids for everyday life (at the workplace and in the homes) will be robotics technology. In addition the area is not only in need of new research and development, but also human resources to participate and drive the innovation process.
The principal aim of EURON is to provide a fruitful basis that allows Europe to remain at the forefront of robotics both in terms of research and industrial products. And this is going to happen by developing a roadmap to ensure continued progress. The roadmap will provide the required background for deciding on potential future programmes in robotics. Service robots are seen as innovative, high added-value products with significant future market potential and thus constitute a unique opportunity for Europe to gain a competitive edge. To ensure that the economic growth in robotics remains in Europe there is a need to unite R&D, teaching and dissemination activities across the entire Union and associated states.
Experience from the EURON network under FP5 demonstrates that effective dissemination and training are best achieved through Graduate Education Activities and through links to end-user Industries. More particularly, Graduate Education will be achieved through the organisation of focused activities such as one week summer schools on well defined topics. An effort will also be undertaken to define a model curriculum in robotics and to define a standard package of courses. Moreover, every year the best theses will be honoured with the Best European PhD Theses in Robotics Award and will be published in the STAR book series. The award and the associated publishing activities will increase international visibility of excellent European research in Robotics. Concerning links to End-User Industries, it is necessary for robot manafacturers and systems integrators to take advantage of the latest technologies which aim at new dimensions in flexibility, productivity, cost-effectiveness and user-friendliness of robot automation.
The objective is to implement and maintain a network of excellence that allows the co-ordination of research, teaching and education, academia-industry co-operation, publications and conferences in the area of robotics, to facilitate addressing of issues of interest to institutions and companies throughout Europe.,EURON is co-ordinated by Kungliga Tekniska Hoegskolan of Sweeden. The EURON Consortium consists of a number of universities and companies.<br>During the summer of 2004 EURON will organise 4 one week summer schools on robotics, and on October 20 a joint UN-EURON press event will take place in Geneva on robots in every home .<br>Project Information in brief,Project Type: Network of excellence,Duration: 48 months,EC Project Funding: 3.34 million euro,For more information: http://www.euron.org/,Contact Person: Henrik I Christensen, E-mail: hic@nada.kth.se