In 2016, the European Union co-funded 17 new robotics projects from the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for research and innovation. 16 of these resulted from the robotics work programme, and one project resulted from the Societal Challenges part of Horizon 2020. The robotics work programme implements the robotics strategy developed by SPARC, the Public-Private Partnership for Robotics in Europe (see the Strategic Research Agenda).
The European Robotics League has closed a successful first season. Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme for research, the ERL brings a common framework for two indoor robotics competitions, ERL Industrial Robots and ERL Service Robots and one outdoor robotics competition, ERL Emergency Robots. The three competitions are designed to target three clear objectives: the European societal challenge of an aging population, the strengthening of the European robotics industry and the use of autonomous systems for emergency response.
The 2017 European Robotics Forum in Edinburgh brought together over 800 people from robotics academia and industry. In an effort to bridge the two, euRobotics hosted an Entrepreneurship and TechTransfer award. Startups from around Europe competed for top prizes in front of a panel of experts.
The European Robotics League (ERL) is a European-based common framework for robotics competitions in the fields of Industrial Robots (ERL Industrial Robots), Service Robots (ERL Service Robots) and Emergency Robots (ERL Emergency Robots). The ERL builds on the success of the European funded FP7 projects EuRoC, RoCKIn and euRathlon.
International teams participate in local and major tournaments distributed across Europe. The three robotics competitions have been designed to address open societal, scientific and industrial challenges and to thoroughly assess, compare, and evaluate their competing innovative approaches. This new robotics league format was launched under the umbrella of SPARC – the Partnership for Robotics in Europe – at this year´s RoboCup in Leipzig, Germany.