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Stimulate ScaleUps to develop novel and challenging TEchnology and systems applicable to new Markets for ROBOtic soLUTIONs

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - RobotUnion (Stimulate ScaleUps to develop novel and challenging TEchnology and systems applicable to new Markets for ROBOtic soLUTIONs)

Reporting period: 2019-07-01 to 2021-02-28

RobotUnion has contributed to the overall growth of SMEs targeting new robotics markets by providing support to the 20 most promising European Robotics companies whose innovations disrupted the Robotics market.
RobotUnion consortium has confirmed an excellent multinational collaboration by creating a unique acceleration program where research centers, business schools, large corporations, and investors came together to create an innovative way to support Robotics companies and help them to:
• Minimize elevated costs associated with the development of specific technologies for market entry by equity-free funding and support provided (4M EUR redistributed in FSTP)
• Provide access to technology services and facilities through 44 researchers(160 PMs) and 18 research facilities that were provided by RTOs engaged in the project (VTT, DTI, TU DELFT, PIAP, and Tecnalia).
• Raise the advantages of robotics and automation in non-traditional markets (healthcare, Agrifood, civil engineering, manufacturing) through the RobotUnion Community (1200 users) and the ecosystem created during the project
• Improve their Funding Journey and allow them to raise 18,6M EUR of additional private funds: (with the support of Blumorpho, ODENSE, Chrysalix)
• Connect to 77 top-notch mentors and robotics experts in different strategic fields (ISDI)
• Get international exposure through 43 events and RobotUnion Community with 1200 members (FMWC and FBOX)
The overall impression of accelerated companies about the support program is 9.3 out of 10, which confirms the perceived added value of the support provided.
All this has positioned RobotUnion as the leading pan-European accelerator program in Robotics at EU Level, becoming the reference on this domain for regional and national institutions in Europe.
WP1: Community Building & Marketplace
- Dissemination and Communication strategy was focused on giving visibility to ScaleUps (18 Success Stories published ~3000 views) and the RobotUnion Sustainability model
- RobotUnion has been present at 43 international startups and robotics-related events
- RobotUnion social networks gathered 4700+ followers.
- RobotUnion Community (1200 users) and a unique RobotUnion Marketplace was created.
WP2: Open Call Management and Beneficiaries Selection
- RobotUnion launched two open calls (one in 2018 and one in 2019)
- From 424 submitted applications, 40 were selected to enter to 1st Stage of the program
- 4M of FSTP funding redistributed to robotics ScaleUps (86% in direct grants to ScaleUps)

WP3: Research & Product Development
- 40 Feasibility plans delivered and assessed, 20 most promising ScaleUps entered to main acceleration program phase
- 2 Welcome Camps were organized
- 20 Scaleups received access to technology services and facilities provided by RTOs engaged in the project: 44 researchers(160 PMs) and 18 research facilities used in total
- ScaleUps products 3 TRL levels rise in average during the program
- Technical Vouchers: 24 external technology suppliers were engaged in technical support
- 10 scientific publications were prepared based on research done during the project

WP4: Live due Diligence (Business Ignition)
- 387 mentoring sessions were provided by 77 business mentors to 20 ScaleUps
- 2 one week face to face training camps were organized

WP5: Pre-seed round & Corporate Brokerage
- 9 Super Star companies reached Proof of Concept and received fundraising support
- 2 Venture Jury Days and 1 Investors Day were organized
- 18,6 M private funds raised by 20 ScaleUps in total from the moment of joining the acceleration program

WP6: Go-To-Market and Sustainability Plan
- Standardization of the RobotUnion acceleration model was proposed to European regions through RobotUnion Toolkit.
While extensive investigations and considerations have been made to implement a selected sustainability model, it has not been possible yet to anchor the RobotUnion Instrument model into a future organization to ensure the sustainability of the RobotUnion Acceleration Program. However, the RobotUnion partners will launch the RobotUnion Circuit that will continue to deliver value to European Robotics Start-ups and Ecosystem created during the project by maintaining the connection and synergies within the network.
Most of the existing accelerators are based fully on Digital technologies and few of them can give support in the IoT domain, but none of them has still shown the capabilities to deliver a LEAN Startup type of program adapted to the needs of the Robotic domain. In this regard, RobotUnion curated an all-in-one solution that can shape the piece of the puzzle that is missing by the Acceleration ecosystem. The pool of facilities, researchers, designers, entrepreneurs, investors and managers of corporations that were engaged during the project have shaped the fundamentals of a community network of experts that empowered a RobotUnion accelerator. In this sense, the project created a practical approach to prove the scalability of the model "as a service" through creating a 'plug&play' RobotUnion Toolkit that was promoted outside of the consortium.

All IMPACT KPIs achieved and actions taken by RobotUnion have contributed to the growth of SMEs targeting new robotics markets by conducting and utilizing research facilities. It has been possible by combining within the consortium all the key assets and resources for successful innovation: technical and non-technical support services and technology research, technical differentiation, entrepreneurial leadership, market access, productization, and access to funding.

The project created a unique value proposition by lowering one of the main technical barriers which Robotics SMEs face when developing their technology: limited access to technology services and research facilities in many regions.
Robotics-oriented support provided by RobotUnion helped to raise the TRL of the scaleups supported in 3 levels, as average, by providing them access to research services. It has contributed to increasing the competitiveness of the European robotics industry by increasing the value of the ScaleUps and improving their investment readiness to stimulate the European Robotics Ecosystem. The success stories generated through RobotUnion action will contribute to attracting more private investment in SME-based research disruptive robotics companies. The overall impression of accelerated companies about the program is 9.3 out of 10, which confirms the perceived impact of the support provided to these 20 companies in the sectors addressed by the project: Manufacturing. Agri-Food, Healthcare, and Civil infrastructure.

Robots developed by companies accelerated through the RobotUnion program had a significant impact on:
- Social environment: Tendo and Aether contributing to breaking the technology gap of people with disabilities
- Animal welfare: Faromatics and their robot that is improving farm productivity by monitoring chickens using sensors and AI
- Smart Sustainable Growth: Bin-e developed an IoT device that sorts and compresses the recyclables automatically

Beyond this, all supported projects contributed to creating jobs in the Robotics industry: 146 new employees were hired in 20 ScaleUps teams supported by the RobotUnion program.
RobotUnion Final Results_2
RobotUnion Final Results_1