ESMERA: First call for experiment proposals now open!
SMEs developing robotic technologies may now apply for providing solutions to predefined real-life challenges. The respective challenge winners will receive direct financial support through a cascade funding mechanism of up to 200.000 EUR each.
The ESMERA Project (European SMEs for Robotic Applications), funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program with grant agreement number 780265, offers financial support and mentorship for SMEs to develop robotic solutions in a competitive setting to address one of the challenges defined by key EU companies in energy, manufacturing, agri-food and construction. The types of activities to perform that qualify for receiving financial support are Research and Technology Development (RTD) activities, aimed at a significant advance beyond the established state of the art.
The first Open Call for ESMERA asks for proposals aiming to develop innovative robotic technologies, to compete with each other in solving the challenges defined by industrial end users. Such technologies may involve but are not limited to, fully/nearly autonomous robots or human-robot collaboration applications and should be able to be demonstrated in real-world scenarios.
Detailed information about the 8 defined challenges in the areas of energy, manufacturing, agri-food and construction can be found in www.esmera-project.eu/challenges website. In the first call, 16 experiments will be selected for the Phase I and maximum funding of €75,000 per proposal will be granted in the Phase I. Ideally, two proposals from each challenge will be selected for the Phase I. In case that there is a large difference between the quality of the proposals in the different challenges, as evaluated by external experts, the number of the selected proposal for each challenge can be adjusted by the ESMERA Consortium. The best 8 experiments among them will be selected for the Phase II and each experiment will be funded up to €125,000 (Maximum €2,200,000 for all experiments). It should be noted that English is the official language for ESMERA Open Calls and the proposal and other supportive documents must be in English. While SMEs can propose an experiment on their own, because of the expected scope and impact of the experiments, this Call welcomes particular consortia partners offering complementary, multidisciplinary competences. Consortia should consist of at least an SME developing robotics solutions and other partners depending on the needs, e.g. research institutions, system integrators and hardware providers. Their contribution in the experiment must be clearly defined in the proposals. Additionally, the consortia have to be independent from ESMERA consortium and the related challenge provider. More information and the full call documents, including the guide for the applicants and an electronic submission system, can be found on the website www.esmera-project.eu/open-calls.
More documents as well as the proposal template can be found here.
Applications are possible within the open call (August, 1st to October 31st) using the project´s submission page. The testing and evaluation phase will last nine months.
If you have questions concerning the Open Call, please contact opencalls [at] esmera-project.eu.">opencalls [at] esmera-project.eu.