Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


ROBOTT-NET Report Summary

Project ID: 688217
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ROBOTT-NET (ROBOTT-NET - A shared infrastructure to sustainably optimise technology transfer throughout Europe)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The main issue being addressed by ROBOTT-NET is getting promising new technologies over the “valley of death”. Many excellent ideas get partially developed but never make it onto the market, despite having good commercial potential. ROBOTT-NET tackles some of the causes of new ideas and technologies getting stuck. These causes are particularly acute for SMEs but also affect larger companies.
Sometimes the short-term risks are seen as too high -- lack of finance and lack of confidence in attracting finance are major problems for SMEs. ROBOTT-NET is designed to alleviate these obstacles by helping companies to develop formal business cases and teaching personnel how to communicate with financiers.
Often people do not have sufficient knowledge of the modern technologies already available and their capabilities. They have neither the time or the digital skills to find the best match for their needs. This means that they may miss an opportunity to build their technology into an optimal system, or don’t know how to fabricate their product efficiently, or hadn’t thought of integrating it with existing systems. ROBOTT-NET brings company personnel into contact with experts in creating optimal systems including a wide range of existing technologies, opening their eyes to wider possibilities.
Thirdly, internationalization is hampered by the need to negotiate the business side of each collaboration separately, the lack of agreed cost models, and non-standardized mechanisms. This results each country or organization performing its own research and innovation, which is inefficient. ROBOTT-NET includes pre-agreed systems for transferring knowledge and expertise between partners, creating standardized templates for pan-European innovation.

Accelerating the path to market of new robot technologies will increase Europe's market share in both industrial and professional service robotics, creating product fabrication jobs. Installing European-standard robotic automation instead of national-standard automation at end-user sites helping companies to optimize their production by introducing and developing novel robotic solutions will contribute substantially to increasing the competitiveness of Europe's manufacturing sector, creating more jobs through increased productivity and prosperity.

The main objective of the ROBOTT-NET initiative is to create a sustainable European infrastructure to support novel robotic technologies on their path to market. Our concept is to build technology transfer RTOs (Research and Technology Organizations) into an international network, exploiting them as one-stop shops for technological and commercial expertise. ROBOTT-NET will verify the best approaches to such collaboration and obtain experience to propel the concept further. During ROBOTT-NET we establish cooperation between four major European technology transfer organizations (Danish Technological Institute, Fraunhofer IPA, MTC and Tecnalia), developing standardized systems for supporting innovation and standardized systems for paying for different types of knowledge transfer. We test and demonstrate our infrastructure by using it on real cases.
ROBOTT-NET directly supports the development of 64 new robotic technologies or systems: for new products, we provide business case analysis, digital skills training, individual roadmaps for their path to market; for new robotic automation, we provide designs, business case analysis, and mock-ups. Further stages of development will be offered for some of these including installing state-of-the-art robotic technologies in eight complete pilot systems.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

From the beginning of ROBOTT-NET to the end of the first reporting period (the duration of 2016, M1-M12), many activities have been completed.
A launch video released in M3 explained the concept of ROBOTT-NET and advertised the Open Labs. This video was placed on social media and run during presentations of ROBOTT-NET at events such as ERF and as part of partner normal business. We can document that the launch video has reached over 10,000 views. During 2016 we also produced nine other project videos, and these have each been viewed over 2000 times.
Eight Open Lab events attracted almost 600 participants to partner sites in Denmark, Germany, United Kingdom and Spain. Each partner sent robot technology experts to all these events to showcase their key technological competences. Through these events participants were introduced to cutting edge technological solutions and had the opportunity to engage in direct individual dialogue with experts.
An open call for ROBOTT-NET work was placed online on the official website, mailing list and Linkedin group, and advertised extensively. A comprehensive applicant guide available through the project website explains the details of the Call. This open call had two cut-off dates for submitting an application for a ROBOTT-NET “voucher”. 100 applications from nine countries were received by the first cut-off date. 42 applications from 7 countries were selected via a thorough review of all applications by a panel of technological experts. The work associated with 39 of these 42 vouchers is now initiated and ongoing. 66 additional applications were received by the second cut-off date and are currently being reviewed. Four new countries are represented in these 66 new applications.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Just the interaction between partners resulting from ROBOTT-NET elements e.g. the visits accompanying Open Labs has already increased innovation support between partners and increased our knowledge of each other’s competences and the capabilities of their ongoing projects. This knowledge will help us to choose the correct partners for future collaborations, both innovation/research and commercial. The tools, services, training courses, mechanisms and techniques for technology transfer to be developed during 2017 will make it easier to formally use the expertise available at the other sites. This contributes to the overall objective of creating a pan-European infrastructure to support the development of new robotics, by providing formal mechanisms for technology transfer between member states, and reduces the amount of duplicated research and innovation in partner organizations.
All of these applications were evaluated as having good potential for commercial success and therefore societal impact in terms of jobs as well as whatever service/product their particular product/automation provides. The project chose ten categories including manufacturing, HRI, perception, healthcare, … and asked applicants to tick all boxes that applied. All ten categories are represented in the 42 vouchers selected, meaning that ROBOTT-NET voucher work will have impact within all these domains.
Companies should be able to approach their local RTO with specific technological challenges, and through this RTO gain access to the combined technological expertise of an international technology transfer network. ROBOTT-NET is currently designing and implementing systems for formal technology transfer and innovation support across 4 major European RTOs. A successful project could result in other RTOs using our tools etc. and collaborating with similar RTOs on robotic innovation. Some of these tools and services would also be applicable to other technological domains. This will make the complete range of RTO capabilities available internationally to companies, universities and start-ups.

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