Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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Human and robotics hands about to touch each other
Robotics in Hoizro2020
Robotics is a fast developing market increasingly exploited in the development of novel and improved services and products in areas as diverse as manufacturing, search and rescue, health, homes, transport and logistics, environment and agriculture.

The rapid increase in the use of robots in our homes and cars, in hospitals and industrial environments is raising questions about what the risks and benefits are on society as a whole.

High growth potential

Europe is one of the world leading regions in industrial robotics with a share of more than 25 % of supply and use. The growth of the sector is expected to be more 6 % per year in the next 3 years to reach more than 32 B$ by 2016.

Impact on jobs

Growth and job creation goes along with innovative scientific developments. Current focus includes science-based understanding of robotics abilities, alongside with improved technology and use-oriented innovation that is fit for purpose. It is estimated that each industrial robot needs at least 4 people to run, maintain and service it.

Society and better living conditions

Robotics has a clear potential to efficiently address major concerns which affect us all, such as climate change, sustainable transport, affordable renewable energy, food safety and security, and coping with an ageing population.
Investment in research and innovation is expected to increase efficiency within these areas and improve living conditions for all European citizens.

SPARC tops investment in robotics

The partnership for robotics in Europe, SPARC is the largest research and innovation programme in civilian robotics in the world. It was launched in 2014 by the joint public-private partnership between the European Commission and the robotics industry and academia. Investments under this joint initiative are expected to reach 2.8 billion euro with 700 million euro in financial investments coming from the European Commission under Horizon 2020 over 7 years.

Funding opportunities

Robotics can be found on many of the current H2020 work programmes. Proposers are invited to check whether the calls mentioned below are relevant to their field of research. This list is provided for information and is not binding.



Societal Challenges:




24/02/2016 - 16:01

Flora Robotica develops and investigates relationships between robots and natural plants. The project explores the potentials of plant-inspired robots, and aims at growing artificial plants. Read more


26/09/2014 - 14:50

The International Journal of Social Robotics has issued a Call for Papers for its forthcoming Special Issue on New Frontiers of Service Robotics for Active and Healthy Ageing. Read more

Featured Projects

30/07/2015 - 12:53

AtlantikSolar broke the World record for the longest autonomous flight by a small Unmanned Aerial Vehichle (UAV) ever in July. The sturdy solar powered light aircraft was airborne for 81 hours non-stop facing gusts of wind of 60 km/hour (nearly 40 mph). Read more

12/05/2015 - 02:00

A person who has suffered a stroke very often faces a long rehabilitation. In H2020, the RETRAINER project will use robot-based technologies to speed up the rehabilitation and allow the users to use their own arm and hand as much and as soon as possible after the trauma so to achieve the best outcomes in the rehabilitation. Read more

17/04/2015 - 02:00

Mass production and packaging in factories is already highly automated these days, but the same cannot be said for logistics. Movements of raw materials and finished products still depend heavily on manual labour. However, EU-funded research on Automatic Guided Vehicles means this is about to change over the next decade – and could create thousands of new jobs. Read more


01/04/2015 - 13:30

For three decades, the EU Framework Programmes have been funding breakthroughs across Europe. RTD’s Horizon Magazine looks at the people and events that have helped shape European research policy, taking you behind the scenes during the pivotal moments from the last 30 years of research funding. These articles have been brought together into a special Horizon supplement to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Framework Programmes. Read more