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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 1 - RobotUnion (Stimulate ScaleUps to develop novel and challenging TEchnology and systems applicable to new Markets for ROBOtic soLUTIONs)

Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2019-06-30

"The main goal of 'RobotUnion' is to stimulate SMEs in the robotics sector and to develop novel and challenging technology and systems applicable to new markets. RobotUnion is supporting Scaleups: companies presenting high growth potential in developing and providing robotics. As Scaleups companies, we consider both emerging start-ups presenting disruptive technologies and business models, but also more established companies with existing activities that plan to transform their industries and markets through robotics solutions.
The consortium was designed to contribute the overcome of the systemic challenges (# innovation barriers) that are constraining the capability of European promising companies to develop novel and innovative technology that has the potential to open new markets for Robotics in domains like Manufacturing, Agro Food, Healthcare, and Civil infrastructure.
RobotUnion is going to invest €4 million in 40 companies during 2 open calls from 2018 to 2020. In each open call, we have selected 40 companies from which 8 top-performing are about to reach 1M of private investment.
RobotUnion objectives
- To stimulate Scaleups in the robotics sector to develop novel and challenging technology and systems applicable to new markets, creating a qualitative deal flow of ScaleUps within the four verticals addressed.
- To launch the Open Calls and to select the best world-class projects.
- To provide Scaleups with access to technical and nontechnical support services that are relevant to the markets targeted by RobotUnion.
- To ensure the project impact beyond the funded duration of the action by consolidating RobotUnion as a pan- European Robotic Accelerator and ensuring the further sustainability of the Scaleups supported."
WP1: Community Building & Marketplace
- Dissemination and Communication strategy was established.
- Customized tools and materials for RobotUnion brand have been created.
- RobotUnion has been present at 33 international startups and robotic related events and has organized 31 info sessions to disseminate the open calls. We have prepared 44 blog posts and 5 Press Releases.
- RobotUnion social networks gather 1613+ followers. The newsletter has grown to 267 subscribers. The project is obtaining huge publicity through partner’s networks (which reach 55.939 contacts) and outreach supporting group (38 organizations).
- RobotUnion Community (1085 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). 40 beneficiaries were selected to enter Stage 1 of the program.
- 1.138 applications were started and 424 of them were submitted and eligible for the program.
WP3: Research & Product Development
- Feasibility plans of the 20 pilots in the first batch of companies delivered and assessed.
- 10 most promising Startups were selected to enter Stage 2, Research & Product Development.
- 10 Individual Technical Mentoring Plans (ITMPs) were created
- Each startup had been assigned to a Technical Mentor’ from one of the Research Organizations from the Consortium
- Researchers in Residence were assigned (experts from the RTO in a certain topic, who work with the startup on specific tasks)
- Technical Vouchers: a technical voucher was implemented in case some startups request additional capabilities/facilities which are not available among the Consortium members. 5 out of 10 startups from the 1st Batch have had the suppliers validated through the procedure.
- Validation of Milestone 2, 3 and 4 of 10 startups from the 1st Batch.
WP4: Live due Diligence (Business Ignition)
- Creation of 10 IBMP (Individual Business Mentoring Plan)
- 88 business mentoring sessions
-Validation of Milestone 4 of 10 startups.
WP5: Pre-seed round & Corporate Brokerage
The first strategy for the startup's investment mentoring was created. Introductions to the potential investors interested in RobotUnion startups are executed continuously if the opportunity occurs.
WP6: Go-To-Market and Sustainability Plan
- the plan for exploitation and dissemination (PEDR) was updated on June 2019
- Sustainability workgroup was established which will define a future RobotUnion Business Plan and Pan-European Continuity Investment Fund government structure.
In terms of RobotUnion Communication, the state of art is articulated in our unique community which now contains more than 1000 Robotics startups, experts, mentors and a pan-European network of facilities for Robotics who will be further engaged thanks to opening a new opportunity to showcase their solutions through the Marketplace which became public. During two Open Calls, RobotUnion received 1138 started applications from more than 30 countries. 424 from them were submitted and eligible. That results were achieved thanks to the multi-stakeholder evaluation (RTOs-investors-industry) and a step-by-step selection process (Open Call – customized application form on FBOX platform; Jury Day -a face-to-face and pitching process- and a live technical and non-technical capabilities validation). It allowed us to evaluate the intangible aspects of the applicant's (team, business vision) besides the technical and business dimensions and select the 40 world-class scalable projects. Startups selected in the 1st Batch have received State-of-the-art technical support and access to “premier-class” technology provided by top Research and Technology Organizations from consortium. Each of 10 startups selected to the Product Acceleration phase has been assigned the Technical Mentor who is working with them on a regular basis and helps them to assign the researchers from the RobotUnion resources for specific tasks needed for their further product development. In case if support from the RobotUnion is limited, our program gives startups an opportunity to engage external providers through the Technical Vouchers procedure. RobotUnion offers a multidimensional approach of acceleration providing to its startups also the Investment and Business mentoring. Thanks to this mix of Entrepreneurial and Technology Push approach, startups have bigger chances to grow. 4 startups per batch with the highest potential will be selected to Continue the Funding Journey and reach the of €1M of funding raised. RobotUnion addresses experienced and accredited investors, who tend to spot trends and find investment opportunities in the Robotic field before everyone else. This is possible because of the participation of ODENSE -the largest European platform of investors specialized in Robotics- and CHRYSALIX- one of the most relevant VCs in the Robotics field. RobotUnion provides also a fast-track access to a constellation of Global Corporations linked to the consortium which are involved during all selection process who will provide additional support to sign commercial agreements. RobotUnion has been conceived to be a sustainable pan-European Robotics Accelerator beyond the project, by providing a path based on Private Funding support and Corporates agreements exposure to scale hand-in-hand with the corporations. The continuity strategy has been created for the whole ‘Acceleration Program’ through the creation of a ‘pan-European Continuity Fund’, for the accelerator set up in the course of the project, and the standardization of 'RobotUnion Accelerator’, as an innovative instrument for European Regions.