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TOPIC : System abilities, development and pilot installations

Topic identifier: ICT-26-2016
Publication date: 14 October 2015

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

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Industrial Leadership
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

RAS operate through the integration of a wide range of different technologies, as noted above. In addition to the contribution of each of these technologies, it is also important to characterise the overall performance of an RAS in terms of its ability to perform system functions which traverse specific technological capabilities. The specific challenge here is to increase the system ability levels in terms of configurability, adaptability, motion, manipulation, decisional autonomy, dependability, interaction, perception and cognitive ability. Such system abilities provide a basis for setting performance metrics and for specifying desired levels of system performance. Reaching higher ability levels than currently available allows to advance the state of the art and to set future targets for robotic systems.

Multiple-actor systems are composed of many actors who are able to operate independently but together can perform system functions. These actors may be autonomous entities, people, or static systems, including embedded sensor networks and cloud services, working together in the operational environment. The challenge is to develop complete, robust systems through the interaction of these many actors to carry out the system function.

Integrated sets of common tool chains and real-world test installations are increasingly needed to support the development of complex robotics systems. The challenge resides in the need for open development and dissemination of common development tools and the provision of wide access to realistic testing environments for the end user community, especially SMEs. Robot testing and innovation facilities are starting to emerge in Europe but are underdeveloped in terms of their infrastructure and the facilities they offer.

Scope:

a. Research and Innovation Actions on system abilities

Research & Innovation Actions will focus on advancing the state of the art in the level of smart robotics system abilities. The focus is on the technical challenges; research actions will address cross cutting technology issues that will make a significant contribution to the needs of applications and domains with the highest impact on markets. Proposals are expected to address at least one or a combination of the following prioritised abilities: robot dependability, social interaction ability and cognitive ability.

The Commission considers that System ability proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 4 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. At least one action will be supported within system abilities.

b. Research and Innovation Actions on multiple-actor systems:

This action focuses on developing advanced multiple-actor systems utilising actors which can operate individually, as members of a team and within a network of other assets in semi-structured, unstructured, dynamic or harsh environments. The system operates through the interaction of diverse independent actors and needs to be robust against errors or the inaction of any specific actor. Proposed multiple-actor systems are expected to demonstrate autonomy over an extended time scale and clearly identify service level gains (compared with current systems) in the application area chosen by the proposal. Systems must be built around identified end user needs and performance should be measured using relevant end user metrics.

The Commission considers that Multiple-actor proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 7 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. At least one action will be supported within multiple-actor systems.

c. Innovation Actions on systems development technology:

The action will address the open development and dissemination of integrated sets of tool chains and building-block applications which support the construction of complex robotics systems. This will result in a European-level ecosystem of development tools using commonly agreed ways of describing robot systems and system building blocks and their interaction. The ecosystem should be flexible and able to accommodate a diverse range of end application requirements in a broad range of different domains. Proposals must aim at developing such an ecosystem, provide mechanisms for its dissemination and stimulate community engagement in its development and subsequent deployment.

Key to the success of this action will be support for modularity, composability[1], re-usability, ease of use and the adoption of existing and emerging standards within both the system and its components. The action is also expected to build on existing systems and structures.

The action may involve financial support to third parties in line with the conditions set out in Part K of the General Annexes. The consortium will define the selection process of additional users and suppliers for which financial support will be granted (typically in the order of EUR 50.000 – 250.000[2] per party). Minimum 50% of the EU funding requested by the proposal should be allocated to the purpose of financial support to third parties.[3]

The Commission considers that System development tools proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 5 and 8 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. At least one action will be supported within systems development technology.

d. Innovation Actions on pilot installations for robot testing:

The action will develop and deploy access mechanisms and supporting infrastructure for single-site[4] pilot installations outside the laboratory for robot testing, based on the needs of end users. Proposals will build on an installation supported through existing EU, regional, national or commercial funding to develop a European accessible facility prioritised against emerging market domains and application areas. In order to ensure real-world conditions, these pilot installations will be based on existing infrastructures such as farms, hospitals / care homes, mines, nuclear sites, undersea sites, collapsed buildings etc. The proposed access mechanisms and infrastructure should provide a low access threshold for SMEs, public bodies and research organisations.

Proposals are expected to provide a support infrastructure including as a minimum: instrumentation of the site; simulation support to allow off-site testing; access to the end user and local site experts, and metrics relating to the functional goals of the end user. The proposal should also address safety certification processes, the development of appropriate performance evaluation measures and application-specific benchmarks. The proposal should identify application-relevant standards and, where relevant, the types of human interaction expected, including the level of social interaction.

Where appropriate, proposals should consider providing sharable standard platforms (hardware and software) to allow organisations offering individual modules or technologies to access the site, rather than limiting access to groups able to deliver whole systems.

Proposals should clearly show how they will assess and, where appropriate, disseminate the results and market impact from trials carried out on the installation. Proposals are encouraged to highlight how deployed system dependability can be enhanced through interaction with the installation.

The action may involve financial support to third parties in line with the conditions set out in Part K of the General Annexes. The consortium will define the selection process of additional users and suppliers running the experiments to access the installation for which financial support will be granted (typically in the order of EUR 50.000 – 150.000[2] per party). Minimum 60% of the EU funding requested by the proposal should be allocated to the purpose of financial support to third parties. Third party support is expected to cover the development of end user solutions for use at the pilot installation as well as the development of related service-side support that would enable the deployment of the end user application.[3]

The Commission considers that Pilot installation proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 7 and 10 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. At least one action will be supported within pilot installations for robot testing.

Expected Impact:

The expected impacts for the RIA in system abilities are:

  • Verifiable increase in the level of system abilities of value in the targeted application domains, in particular improving the innovativeness, robustness and longevity of operations of robots deployed in challenging environments

The expected impacts for the RIA on multiple-actor systems are:

  • Contribution to the development of innovative multiple-actor systems which achieve measurable service level gains in new application areas
  • Measurable improvements in the provision of autonomy over an extended time scale from the current state of the art in the chosen application
  • Advances in the development and understanding of new metrics characterising the operation of multiple-actor systems.

The expected impacts of system development tools actions are:

  • Enhanced productivity of RAS through high quality tools
  • Wide acceptance of new, efficient and flexible system development tools across the development community and in the marketplace.

The expected impacts of pilot installation actions are:

  • Improved understanding of current technology capability limits in real world situations, to promote higher take-up of new robotics systems and to achieve faster time-to-market for new applications.
  • Characterisations of the performance of robotics systems in the given installation.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Contractual Public-Private Partnerships (cPPPs)
Robotics

[1]Composability is defined as the ability to combine and recombine building blocks to fulfill different functions. Building blocks may be at different levels of granularity ranging from components to systems of systems. Composability applies to all aspects of the design and development of systems.

[2]In line with Article 23 (7) of the Rules for Participation the amounts referred to in Article 137 of the Financial Regulation may be exceeded, and if this is the case proposals should explain why this is necessary to achieve the objectives of the action.

[3]It is recommended to also use established networks reaching out to SMEs like the Enterprise Europe Network and the NCP network for calls publications and awareness raising towards SME's.

[4]“Single Site” refers to the need for the site to be fully self-contained and aligned to a specific existing asset. Proposals may cover multiple assets at different geographic locations but each must be a single site asset.

[5]In line with Article 23 (7) of the Rules for Participation the amounts referred to in Article 137 of the Financial Regulation may be exceeded, and if this is the case proposals should explain why this is necessary to achieve the objectives of the action.

[6]It is recommended to also use established networks reaching out to SMEs like the Enterprise Europe Network and the NCP network for calls publications and awareness raising towards SME's.

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

    Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions 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
     

 

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