The European robotics community has grown significantly over the last few years. At the same time the community has become more organised on both the research (EURON) and the industrial (EUROP) side. Within the help of the Coordination Action CARE, a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) for robotics in Europe (2009) was developed by EUROP with the support of many EURON members. At the European Robotics Forum (ERF) 2011 in Odense, EURON and EUROP, who jointly organised the European Robotics Forums, started an initiative to combine their portfolio of activities and member base within a new non-profit organisation, euRobotics AISBL. This organisation was to engage in a contractual Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with the European Commission (EC). This merger was finalised during ERF2013 in Lyon.
The main players behind this success story have joined to address the most important challenges for the coming three to five years:
Professional coordination of technology road mapping and implementation of innovation activities;
Fostering collaboration among all stakeholders of European robotics;
Promoting European robotics.
When addressing these goals significant resources are needed. As the association is still young and in the process of gaining members, its resources are too limited to manage the great amount of work to be done. To ensure high quality results RockEU was set up to provide resources to get euRobotics AISBL and the PPP in Robotics going with the clear goal of making sure they are self-sustainable afterwards.
The following activities are planned engaging the whole community:
Work Package 1, Robotics roadmap coordination, aims at supporting the development of community endorsed research agenda and roadmap and thereby influence the funding calls in robotics;
The purpose of Work Package 2, Robotics PPP preparation and ramp-up, is to support the preparation, development and establishment of the PPP in robotics;
Work Package 3, Facilitating robotics innovation, focuses mainly on strengthening the industrial exploitation potential of European robotics research and in developing strategies for increasing the robotics industries’ competitiveness;
Work Package 4, Robotics networking, aims at improving the integration of the robotics community in Europe by a professionalization drive and through outreach to non-traditional stakeholders;
The main goal of Work Package 5, Dissemination and outreach, is to improve the profile of European robotics through several outreach activities.
These core activities will defragment the community and construct a European robotics industry with sufficient identity and presence to create world leadership in terms of both strategic capability and economic impact.
RockEU is a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) funded by the EU under the grant agreement 611247.
RockEU started on the 17th of January 2013.