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July 2019

DIH² launches its first open call to encourage robotics-related technology adoption in the field of manufacturing. 1024 385 IMPACT Accelerator

DIH² launches its first open call to encourage robotics-related technology adoption in the field of manufacturing.

DIH² launches its first open call to encourage robotics-related technology adoption in the field of manufacturing.

    • The European Commission project, part of the Horizon 2020 programme, will be distributing up to €248,000 to consortia made up of technology providers and manufacturing Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Mid-Caps to enable them to adopt robotics-related technology.

10th July 2019. DIH², the pan‐European network of 26 robotics Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) for Agile Production launched on 1st July 2019 its first open call. The European project will be investing close to €3 million in the course of the next eight months.

The open call will distribute up to €248,000 to 13 selected consortia. Each consortium will have a maximum of 3 members and must include a technology provider (e.g. a start-up, SME, research organisation, competence centre or any type of technology provider) and a manufacturing SME or Mid-Cap.

Many large manufacturers have developed in-house technologies to optimise their production. However, manufacturing SMEs still face significant challenges in the automation of their processes and are not able to quickly react and adapt to market changes and customer needs. The main barriers to the adoption of an Agile Production process are the lack of knowledge and economic constraints.

The DIH² first open call aims at removing the knowledge and financial barriers and enable manufacturing SMEs and Mid-Caps to collaborate with technology providers. The technology providers will work with companies to integrate robotics solutions and facilitate the adoption of an Agile Production process.

THE TYPES OS APPLICANTS

Technology providers are any type of organisation specialised in technology transfer or system integration to end users. They can consist of system integrators, research and technology organisations, digital innovation hubs centres, start-ups and SMEs.

On the other hand, end users are expected to be manufacturing SMEs or Mid-Caps (organisations with a staff headcount below 500 employees and a turnover below €100 million).

THE FIRST PHASE OF THE OPEN CALL

During the first phase of the open call, manufacturing SMEs, Mid-Caps and technology providers can apply individually between 1st July 2019 and 31st October 2019 through a simple application form.

10 companies from each category (technology providers and SMEs/Mid-Caps) will be selected to participate in one of 26 local brokerage events taking place at a national level across Europe. In total, 520 companies will be invited to participate in a brokerage event.

Participants will receive €1,000 each to attend a brokerage event and form a consortium with a company with a complementary activity. Consortia will receive support from one of the 26 DIHs that make up the DIH² network to prepare their application for the second stage of the open call. Companies who did not participate in the first stage are able to apply during the second stage but are not entitled to any kind of support in the preparation of their application.

THE SECOND PHASE OF THE OPEN CALL

Applications during the second phase of the open call need to be submitted (by consortia of 2 to 3 members) between 3rd December 2019 and 27th February 2020. 26 applications will be selected to receive a mini-grant of €1,000 to participate in the Jury Day. A panel will evaluate the relevance and feasibility of the consortium partners.

During Jury Day, 13 consortia will be selected as the final beneficiaries of the DIH² programme and will obtain up to €246,000 extra funding plus premium technology transfer services.

ABOUT DIH2

DIH² is a network of 26 European Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs). Our objective is to grow this network to over 170 DIHs by 2022. Led by Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy, the network has a total of 37 European partners.

The ultimate goal of DIH² is to establish a sustainable network of robotics DIHs, endowed with tools and procedures, to facilitate the commercialisation and broad uptake of Agile Production by manufacturing SMEs/Mid-Caps.

DIH² offers a number of benefits:

  • A Common Open Platform Reference Architecture for Agile Production which can be instantiated to serve the needs of any Manufacturing SME by means of selecting and integrating a set of Robotic-based Open Standard Enablers [ROSE-AP].
  • A Technology Transfer Program bringing support to the best-in-class Technology Transfer Experiments.
  • A marketplace as one-stop-shop for SMEs with access to premier-class technical and non-technical services. A Corporate Sponsorship Program to support DIHs in liaising with component and robot suppliers, and system integrators.

This section summarises the characteristics of the open calls under the DIH² project.

DIH² has received funding from the European Commission Horizon 2020 programme under Grant Agreement 824964.

Related links:

The DIH2 Open Call Website

The Guide for Applicants

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RobotUnion selects the 20 best European robotics startups 1024 459 IMPACT Accelerator

RobotUnion selects the 20 best European robotics startups

RobotUnion selects the 20 best European robotics startups

  • 44 startups which were invited to the RobotUnion 2nd Jury Day were selected from 206 applications from 33 countries which applied to the 2nd RobotUnion Open Call. The best startups came to Warsaw to present their ideas and vie for up to €223,000 in equity-free funding, alongside acceleration and mentoring services.
  • RobotUnion offers a total of 4M€ in equity-free funding in two open calls for startups and SMEs within the framework of the Horizon 2020 program funded by the European Commission.
  • Selected startups are advancing the digitalization of European industry in the areas of health, manufacturing, agriculture, civil engineering and open disruptive innovation.

RobotUnion, the first pan-European acceleration program fully focused on robotics, has announced the names of the 20 startups of the second open call who will enter this unique  acceleration program. The Jury Day winners were selected among 44 startups and SMEs who pitched 4 times in front of a different panel of experts. The event took place in Warsaw on July 3rd at the headquarters of PIAP, who is one of the partners providing technical mentoring for accelerated startups.

The Jury was composed of experienced technical experts, representatives of venture capital and members of large corporations from the RobotUnion consortium: Fundingbox (PL) as the coordinator of the program; ISDI (ES) responsible for business mentoring; ODENSE Seed and Venture (DK), Blumorpho (FR), Chrysalix Venture Capital (CA) in charge of the  fundraising mentors, technical support and access to “premier-class” technology provided by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (FI), Danish Technological Institute – DTI (DK), TU Delft (NL), Tecnalia (ES) and PIAP (PL); direct access to top industry leaders is facilitated by MADE (DK), Ferrovial Servicios (ES), Fenin (ES), and Mobile World Capital Barcelona (ES) as the dissemination partner. Additionally, independent external advisors were invited in order to help the Consortium in the final decision.

RobotUnion selects the 20 best European robotics startups

LIST OF SELECTED STARTUPS

Below is the list of 20 startups and SMEs that were selected to enter the acceleration program of RobotUnion’s second call:

  • Rigitech (Switzerland): Drone delivery to integrate supply chains through hybrid drone hardware and cloud-based logistics.
  • IM Systems (Netherlands): Archimedes drive is a planetary transmission that uses friction instead of gear teeth to transmit torque.
  • Aether Biomedical (Poland): Zeus is a low cost-high efficacy prosthesis. This bionic limb can multiarticulate 14 grip modes.
  • BLITAB (Austria): Blitab is the first-ever Braille tablet to create tactile text and graphics in real-time.
  • MX3D (Netherlands): Software development for large scale Robotic 3D metal printing.
  • Rebartek (Norway): Standardized robotic cell to assemble reinforcement bar (rebar) pieces into rebar cages. 
  • Robotical (United Kingdom): Marty the Robot is a real robot that can be used to teach about robotics and STEM.
  • Rovenso (Switzerland): Agile robots that perform security and safety monitoring of industrial sites.
  • Scaled Robotics (Spain): Deploys robots capable of navigating construction sites autonomously to collect 3D maps and upload them to an AI-powered software platform for analysis.
  • Axiles Bionics (Belgium): AMP-Foot is a prosthetic ankle-foot prosthesis capable of bringing back a natural gait and posture during daily life activities, being flexible and highly responsive to the person’s intention and to the environment.
  • Automato Robotics (Israel): Robot development that works in soil/greenhouses/high tunnels to detect ripe tomatoes and harvests them.
  • Cyber Surgery (Spain): Robotic assistant for spine surgery.
  • Proxima Centauri (Denmark): Automation of the picking and sorting of natural casings.
  • Kinfinity (Germany): The Kinfinity Glove is a new generation of multi-modal input device for use in virtual reality applications, robotics, gaming and more.
  • LuxAI (Luxembourg): An expressive and engaging robot designed for autism.
  • INTSITE (Israel): Autonomous and connected tower cranes.
  • Moi Composites (Italy): Manufacturing of objects as one-off parts or small series combining our proprietary process with other additive manufacturing technologies or traditional manufacturing processes.
  • Life Science Robotics (Denmark): ROBERT is a rehabilitation robot focusing on active resistive and assistive mobilization of the lower extremities.
  • Subsea Mechatronics (Spain): Agile design and fabrication of prototypes involving mechanics, electronics and software, finding solutions within time and cost requirements to meet the specifications.
  • Formhand (Germany): Granulate-based vacuum grippers that can adapt to and handle objects with different shapes.

Each selected company will be eligible to receive up to €223,000 in equity-free funding upon reaching the milestones of the programme. 10 startups will also receive access to technical support from European robotics experts and business acceleration services. The best-performing companies participating in the program may obtain an additional €1 million of private investment in funding rounds led by Blumorpho and supported by Odense Seed and Venture and the VCs Chrysalix Venture Capital.

During the Jury Day, startups heard presentations from world-class experts invited to share their knowledge. The first was given by Guido Boehm, senior business developer from Dematic shared some tips he has picked up over the years in his talk Ten rules for making corporate partnerships with startups work. Guido mentioned the importance of staying focused on the development of a useful product, the advantages of partnerships with corporations and how to overcome problems while building a startup.

The second speaker was Andrzej Garbacki, expert in industry 4.0 and Member of the Board and Solutions Department Coordinator from Astor, who explained the importance of introducing technology to industries to facilitate production processes. Startups who attended the event discovered how the automation process affects industrial plants. Mr. Garbacki shared several success stories of these processes through his company, which proposes solutions to adapt the traditional industry to a new operational structure based on human-machine cooperation.

THE PROGRAM: FROM RESEARCH TO THE SET UP

The 20 startups and SMEs selected in the second open call launched by RobotUnion will initiate an acceleration process that will have a duration of up to 14 months. After Jury Day, the acceleration process will begin with the 2-month feasibility phase when startups will define a plan which will specify technical and market potential of their robotics solutions. This plan will be presented during the Welcome Camp that will take place in Odense on October 2nd and 3rd 2019. In addition to equity-free funding, the companies will receive extensive technical and technological support provided by leading robotics R&D institutes in Europe.

They also will have access to ISDI’s international network of recognized mentors from Google, Airbnb, Ikea, Yahoo, Prisa and Microsoft, among others. It builds on the expertise of the IMPACT Accelerator, which invested over €20 million equity-free funding between 2014 to 2018. IMPACT has been named among the top ten seed accelerators in the world and the second best in Europe by Gust’s Global Accelerator Report.

The entrepreneurs will also have direct contact with leaders of agri-food, healthcare, civil engineering, and manufacturing sector through the participation of organizations including MADE, Ferrovial Servicios, ARLA Foods and FENIN.

RobotUnion will further boost the visibility of startups and SMEs in the robotics sector taking part in top international events such as 4YFN at MWC Barcelona, DLD Innovation festival, Automatica Munich and Slush.

ABOUT ROBOT UNION

RobotUnion is designed to increase the number of unicorns in Europe in leveraging on European uniqueness and expertise in robotics related fields by implementing an ambitious programme which consists of:

  • State-of-the-art technical support and access to “premier-class” technology provided by top research and technology organizations like VTT, DTI, TU Delft, TECNALIA, and PIAP.
  • World-class training and high-level business mentoring by a pool of tier 1 mentors from Google, Airbnb, Ikea, Yahoo, Prisa, Microsoft, among others, provided by ISDI.
  • Internationalization services. Presence in top EU scaleup events such as 4YFN at MWC (Mobile World Congress), Slush, Web Summit and International PR exposure powered by Mobile World Capital.
  • Fundraising services provided by Blumorpho (private funding) and FundingBox (public funding).
  • Engagement with world top industry leaders such as MADE representing world manufacturing leaders like Danfoss, Grundfos or Vestas among others. ARLA in agri-food; FENIN in healthcare and FERROVIAL in civil infrastructure.

RobotUnion will invest €4 million in 40 companies during 2 open calls from 2018 to 2020. In each open call, we will select 20 companies and will invest €2million.

Link to official images of the Jury Day: 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/142469027@N05/albums/72157709408859656/with/48190094672/

Web: https://robotunion.eu/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/RobotUnion_EU

Press contact: mportales@mobileworldcapital.com

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