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AI, Data and Robotics for the Green Deal (AI, Data and Robotics Partnership) (IA)

 

Proposals are expected to integrate and optimise AI, data and robotics solutions in order to demonstrate, by addressing use-cases scenarios in actual or highly realistic operating environments, how they can directly contribute to the Green Deal. The proposed methodology should be supported by industry or service relevant KPIs, making the case for the added value of such technologies, and demonstrating scalability, and deployment potential. Technology performance as well as added value to the application field should be demonstrated by qualitative and quantitative KPIs, demonstrators, benchmarking and progress monitoring. The environmental impacts of the proposed solutions should also be taken into account when making the case for the added value of the technology for the environment.

While the proposals must be application driven, involving problem owners to define needs and validate the proposed solutions, the focus is on optimising enabling AI, data and robotics technologies to maximise the benefit they bring in such applications. Proposals should adopt a concrete problem solving approach, exploiting and optimising the most suitable technologies and solutions at hand. The focus should be on real-world scenarios, which can benefit in short to mid-term from the technology and solutions and demonstrate substantial impact on the Green Deal, while taking into account the maturity of the technologies to solve the problems at hand.

Deep involvement of all relevant stakeholders (including SMEs), from technology providers to user industry, social partners, and relevant experts in operational and environmental impact assessment, will be essential. Special attention will be given to including users of diverse age, gender and background.

All proposals should incorporate training programs for non-expert users of AI, data and robotics systems, who are domain experts and need to know basic AI, data, robotics concepts, including the basics concepts of Trustworthy and ethical AI.

To reach their objectives, all proposals are expected to exploit synergies between at least two of the three components: AI, Data and Robotics and forge strong cooperation between to corresponding practitioners.

Proposals can involve either robotics-only solutions (for instance demonstrating robotics solutions in harsh environments), or a mix of robotics and non-robotics components (for instance in applications such as waste management, where a combination of robotics for waste segregation and data and sensor driven AI for process optimisation) or only include non-robotics AI and Data (for instance in energy optimisation, from production sites, through the network, and then end-user sites, with IoT components). All selected proposals are expected to include demonstrators at TRL 6 or above. At least half of the selected proposals will have to have a major robotics demonstrator; therefore, proposals should clearly specify their robotics demonstrator, if they chose to have one.

Proposals should clearly identify the expected outcome it will focus on.

Two types of proposals are expected:

  1. Focused projects (EU contribution around EUR 3.00 million), involving the user industry and technology provider(s),
  2. Larger projects (EU contribution around EUR 5.00 million), where a number of companies in a given application sector will identify in the proposal common challenges and use-cases, and organise competitive calls for AI, data and robotics solution providers to address such challenges. Competitive calls will be open to all types of companies, but only SMEs and Start-ups[[In this context a start-up is a tech-oriented company. It should employ less than 10 people (but more than 2 full time equivalent staff) that has operated for less than three years and has attracted more than EUR €50 000 early stage private sector investment or has demonstrable sales growth over 50% pa – they will receive 100% financial support to third parties while other SMEs would receive 70% financial support. Startups would be expected to highlight the impact that the project will have on their overall Company strategy and growth prospects in the Impact section of their proposals (as well as the impact on society and European competitiveness.]] will receive financial support to third parties, with a maximum of EUR 200 000 per third party[[Maximum amount per third party, received from a given action, over its entire duration]] and 70% funding (100% for start-ups). At least 40% of the requested amount should be dedicated to financial support to third parties. The consortium will provide technical support with expertise in engineering integration, testing and validation to support the selected SMEs and start-ups acting as technology providers to demonstrate the added value of their solutions to address the challenges of the use-cases. Maximum one type of third party project will be funded per expected outcome[[The 3 expected outcomes are : 1. Resource optimisation and minimisation of waste, energy or greenhouse gas emissions, 2. Environmental and waste management in the circular economy, 3. Robotics solutions in harsh environments serving the Green Deal]].

In all proposals, user industries are expected to play a major role in the requirement and validation phases.

Besides financial support, these SMEs and start-ups successfully demonstrating the potential of their solutions, must receive support from business experts, provided by the action, to further develop their business and develop their market reach, and maximise their business opportunities.

When possible, proposals should build on and reuse public results from relevant previous funded actions. Proposals should make use of connections to the Digital Innovation Hub networks, particularly those in Robotics, Data and AI. Full use should be made of the common resources available in the AI-on-Demand platform[[Initiated under the AI4EU project https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/825619 and further developed in projects resulting from H2020-ICT-49-2020 call]], Digital Industrial Platform for Robotics[[https://robmosys.eu/newsrobmosys-rosin-towards-an-eu-digital-industrial-platform-for-robotics/]], data platforms[[E.g.: https://www.big-data-europe.eu/]] and, if necessary other relevant digital resource platforms. Communicable results from selected proposals should be delivered to the most relevant of these platforms in order to enhance the European AI, Data and Robotics ecosystem through the sharing of results and best practice.

If proposals use satellite-based earth observation, positioning, navigation and/or related timing services and data, they have to prioritise Copernicus and/or Galileo/EGNOS over equivalent competing solutions offering the same services/data.

All proposals are expected to allocate tasks to cohesion activities with the co-programmed partnership on AI, Data and Robotics and funded actions related to this partnership, including the CSA HORIZON-CL4-2021-HUMAN-01-02. Where relevant, synergies with other European partnerships and Horizon Europe Clusters (Cluster 4 and Cluster 6 in particular) are encouraged.

This topic implements the co-programmed European Partnership on Artificial Intelligence, Data and Robotics.