Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Advanced robot capabilities research and take-up

Topic identifier: ICT-25-2016-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
IA Innovation action
Opening date:
20 October 2015
Deadline: 12 April 2016 17:00:00

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
IA Innovation action
Opening date:
08 December 2016
Deadline: 25 April 2017 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Industrial Leadership
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Updates
  • 16 January 2017 16:24

    As of 1st January 2017, Switzerland is associated to the entire H2020 programme. In consequence, it is now also associated to this topic. In a nutshell this means that Swiss partners in a proposal are now on an equal footing with partners from EU Member States or other Associated Countries. For the details, please read this note.

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

RAS technology has evolved significantly in the past decade, moving robots out of constrained environments and into the workplace or home. Technologies ranging from mechatronics to sensing, manipulation and mobility have all contributed to this evolution. However the easy deployment of smart robots in everyday life is still beyond the technical capability of most current laboratory prototypes.

The specific challenge here is to develop robots that respond more flexibly, robustly and efficiently to the everyday needs of workers and citizens in professional or domestic environments, and which will also maintain Europe at the forefront of global research and development. The actions will address the whole research value chain, whether generic technology, developing RAS building blocks in the form of key technical capabilities, or market-led prototypes directly involving end users. End users will help drive Innovation Actions as active partners, setting the operating parameters for a given application as well as testing and validating the prototype solutions.


Research and Innovation Actions addressing generic advances and technical capabilities:

a. Open, generic forward-looking research into novel technical advances in robotics – open to all robotics-related research topics and disciplines. Proposals are expected to address technical topics which cut across application domains and which can be developed further with a view to achieving high future impact on markets or societal sectors in Europe.

b. Technology research and development to achieve step changes in the capabilities of the following high priority RAS technologies: systems development, human-robot interaction, mechatronics, perception, navigation and cognition. Step changes are sought through either a multiplicative improvement in technical capability, for example achieving a difference in order of magnitude in the number of everyday objects a robot can recognise or handle, or a categorical advance, for example moving from rigid to intuitive human-robot interfaces.

The Commission considers that the open research and the technical capabilities proposals are expected to require EUR 2 to 4 million each; nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. At least one action will be supported for each bullet (a or b above). Proposals are expected to identify which bullet is their main centre of gravity.

Innovation Actions driven by end users:

c. Improving the deployment prospects of RAS through end user-driven application developments in domains and application areas with significant market potential. Proposals are expected to address system development beyond TRL 5.[1]

The outputs will not be purely technological; actions will generate economic and operational data that will provide a valuable basis for setting operating parameters and for reducing commercial risks for future investors.

d. Filling technology or regulatory gaps through end user-driven innovation actions, where the gap represents a challenging market entry barrier. Proposals are expected to address a gap in either technical capability or system ability. The targeted gap and the required steps to tackle the gap must be clearly identified in the proposal.

The Commission considers that End-user proposals are expected to require 2 to 4 million each; nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. At least one action will be supported for each bullet (c or d above). Proposals are expected to identify which bullet is their main centre of gravity.

Expected Impact:

The expected impacts for the Research and Innovation Actions are:

  • Promote excellent science and technology knowledge in Europe, demonstrated by a high standard of research outputs (including publications, open source software or, as appropriate, patents);
  • Develop a new generation of robotic and autonomous systems with clear and measurable progress over the state of the art in terms of step changes in technical capabilities, as evidenced by improvements in performance (including in terms of affordability, reliability and robustness, energy autonomy and user acceptability);
  • Greater industrial relevance of research actions and output as demonstrated by deeper involvement of industry and stronger take-up of research results;
  • Fostering new links between academia and industry, accelerating and broadening technology transfer;
  • Contributing by 2020 to the strategic vision of a more competitive positioning of European robotics providers in the marketplace, in terms of their penetration in new or emerging robotics sectors.

The expected impacts for the Innovation Actions on end-user research are:

  • Increasing the market-readiness of robotics applications including in terms of technological validation outside the laboratory and of sound operational and cost-benefit models;
  • Lowering of market entry barriers of a business or regulatory nature and increasing industrial and commercial investment in Europe at a rate comparable with other global regions;[2]
  • Contributing to the faster growth of competitive small and mid-scale robotics companies in Europe.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Contractual Public-Private Partnerships (cPPPs)
Open Innovation

[1]Technology readiness level 5: technology validated in a relevant environment

[2]According to the PwC/NVCA MoneyTree Report, capital investments by US venture capital firms rose to about $172 million in 2013, nearly tripling 2011 levels

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
    Note also that a number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects (follow the links to China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.

  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    Information on the outcome of single-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Research and Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement

    Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement

  6. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information

    Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.

  7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions, and proposals must refer to measures envisaged. Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

    This topic participates per default in the open access to research data pilot which aims to improve and maximise access to and re-use of research data generated by projects:

    • The pilot applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available for open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan (to be provided within six months after the project start).

    • Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they are part of the Pilot, and will not be penalised for opting out of the Pilot.

    • Projects can at any stage opt-out of the pilot.

    The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.
    Further information on the Open Research Data Pilot is made available in the H2020 Online Manual.

  8. Additional documents:
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction to Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies (LEITs)
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Information and communication technologies (ICT)
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 - Regulation of Establishment
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme


Additional documents

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