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