euRobotics marks 10 years of existence
Our association is ten years old. Founded in September 2012, euRobotics was created to fulfil the private side of SPARC, a public-private partnership (PPP) with the European Commission under Horizon 2020. However, this was no ‘big bang’ moment. The universe in which the new association began its life already existed in the form of two entities, the EURON network representing the European robotics research sector since 2000 and EUROP, the European Robotics Technology Platform, representing Europe’s industrial sector since 2004.
The robotics community organized in these two antecedent bodies of research and industry has a strong history of collaboration at local, regional and European levels. Sponsoring at the European level was provided by the European Commission through Network of Excellence funding and Coordination Actions. The long-anticipated founding of a European robotics association based on an equal footing of research and industry eventually took place in 2012. The new association called euRobotics aisbl began with 35 members who signed the legal founding document on 17 September 2012 in Brussels. Ten years later, it can claim to have become a firmly-rooted entity with a membership having grown to around 250 members.
From 2014-2020 – under the framework of Horizon 2020 – euRobotics was the private side of the Public Private Partnership with the European Commission called SPARC. Through this partnership, collaboration within the community and with the EC was accelerated in many ways. Today euRobotics is also proud to have established a continuing purpose for itself beyond SPARC. In 2021 it became a founding member of the AI, Data and Robotics association (Adra), which is the private side of a new PPP with the European Commission under Horizon Europe. Meanwhile, euRobotics is beginning a second decade of activity, fashioning a fresh focus for itself and its members. Recent innovations such as the Topic Group Summit are just the start and there will be more to say – and more to come – about ‘euRobotics 2.0’ and the future direction the association will take.
However, the objectives will be what they have always been: to boost European robotics research, development and innovation and to foster a positive perception of robotics within wider society. As new activities are developed, so the emphases may alter to a degree but the fundamental aims will not change. These are to:
- strengthen competitiveness and ensure industrial leadership of manufacturers, providers and end users of robotics technology-based systems and services;
- encourage the widest and best uptake of robotics technologies and services for professional and private use;
- reaffirm the excellence of the science base of European robotics.
Our tenth anniversary marks the start of a series of commemorative activities during the remainder of our anniversary year, until next summer. These will be symbolised visually during this period through the use of the 10-year motif alongside the euRobotics logo.