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Specific Challenge: Research implementing the Strategic Research Agenda established by the euRobotics AISBL (the private partner in the future Public-Private partnership in Robotics) will be essential to attain a world-leading position in the robotics market. Driven by the applications needs identified in this Strategic Research Agenda (SRA), challenging R&D problems will have to be addressed, to make substantial progress in robots capabilities and improve the Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) of robotics R&D. In addition, a dedicated effort is necessary to close the innovation gap, allow large scale deployment of robots and foster market take-up. Robotics is very broad, both in terms of technologies and disciplines it involves, but also in terms of markets and stakeholders. It is therefore essential to address the inherent fragmentation.

Scope: The aim is to develop a new generation of industrial and service robots and underpinning technologies, in particular enabling robotic systems to operate in dynamic real-world environments, reaching measurable improvements of abilities such as autonomy and adaptability and interacting in safe ways with humans.

Collaborative projects will cover multi-disciplinary R&D and innovation activities like technology transfer via use-cases and industry-academia cross fertilisation mechanisms. Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) will further enable prototype development and stimulate deployment of industrial and service robotics.

Projects are strongly encouraged to optimise synergies (e.g: use of shared resources for PCP of R&D&I projects or use cases, collaboration with on-going initiatives). Priority is given to projects driven by industrial or market needs and that are expected to produce step changes in abilities.

a.      Research & Innovation Actions

      RTD to advance abilities and key technologies relevant for industrial and service robotics

-        In terms of market domains, the priorities are: manufacturing, commercial, civil, agriculture

-        The primary goal is to significantly improve the level of industrial and service robotics abilities in the context of the above mentioned market domains by addressing: adaptability, cognitive ability, configurability, decisional autonomy, dependability, flexibility, interaction capability, manipulation ability, motion capability,  perception ability.

-        To reach this ambitious goal, key robotics technologies need to be advanced in the particular fields of cognition, human-robot interaction, mechatronics, navigation, perception. This includes technology combinations such as grasping and dexterous manipulation, physical HRI, mobile manipulation, reactive planning and other combinations, in particular those that connect the key technologies above.

-        To prove the exploitation potential of the results the project outcome is to be shown in market domain-relevant demonstrations proving an increased TRL.

         It will be essential for the deployment of robots to establish systems development processes (from requirement analysis to testing and validation) and to develop techniques and technologies for system design, engineering, architecture, integration,  system of systems, modelling and knowledge engineering which are applicable across market domains.

         Shared resources and assessment

-        One goal will be to define common hardware and software platforms (e.g.: real world test-beds, software libraries and simulators) taking advantage of existing initiatives and facilities. This will require: (a) mechanisms for sharing; (b) harmonisation of system design practice; (c) the definition of standards; and (d) high quality validation, maintenance and documentation.

-        Furthermore, activities will be supported by a benchmarking initiative to provide means for technology assessment and transfer, performance evaluation as well as of paving the way to certification of new robotics systems.

b.      Innovation Actions: Technology transfer - Robotics use cases

Using leading edge science and technology, including results from EU-funded projects, a targeted effort will aim at introducing, testing and validating promising and innovative robotics solutions in real-world conditions. The focus will be on the robust operational deployment of these robotic solutions, based on performance objectives, metrics, and user needs. The strong involvement of stakeholders such as robotics industry, system integrators and end-users is essential.

c.       Pre-commercial procurement in robotics

In addition, demand-driven innovation actions will be pursued in areas of public interest, including pre-commercial procurement of innovative robotics solutions for public safety and monitoring of environment and infrastructures.

Expected impact:

         Increase Europe's market share in industrial robotics to one third of the market and maintain and strengthen Europe's market share of 50% in professional service robotics by 2020.

         Increase Europe’s market share in domestic service robots to at least 20% by 2020 including with new companies and start-ups in the field.

         Improve the competitiveness of Europe's manufacturing sector, in particular SMEs, and address pressing technological challenges and the effect of an aging workforce.

         Increase Industry-Academia cross-fertilisation and tighter connection between industrial needs and academic research via technology transfer, common projects, scientific progress on industry-driven challenges.

         Deploy robotics technologies in new application domains.

         Improve Technology Readiness Levels of robotics technologies.

         Improve performance evaluation and certification of new robotic systems.

         Create and maintain world class research in Europe and achieve excellent standards of publications and research outputs.

         Ensure sufficient numbers of well-trained professionals required by the growth of the industry.

         Ensure wide use of shared resources.

Types of action:

a.       Research & Innovation Actions – A mix of proposals requesting Small and Large contributions are expected

b.      Innovation Actions – A mix of proposals requesting Small and Large contributions are expected

c.       Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) Cofund actions – Proposals requesting a Large contributions are expected