Call for SME‘s to submit applications for R&D and technology transfer projects for €250K per project

EU has made important steps to support SMEs to transform manufacturing through new technology development in robotics and automation in order to maintain European industry competitiveness on the global market. EU has created a favorable financial instrument for a company to get connected with new technology developers and integrators.

For that matter there is a wide network of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) across Europe and Lithuanian Robotics Association is a member as one of DIH‘s. DIH² network accelerates factories through robotics. DIH² believes in the power of robotics to transform the agility of manufacturing in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and mid-caps (SMEs) and drive economic growth across the European Union. DIH² role is to facilitate the connections that will enable agile production in factories where speed and versatility are essential to satisfy customer demand.

LRA is utilizing its activities and close connections with European counterparts and therefore LRA can grant local companies an easy access to scientific and financial resources dedicated to robotization and automation of manufacturing processes in SME‘s.

DIH² is a technology development and transfer project. It contains financing support up to 248.000 Eur for a group solution development engaging an SME and a technology developing enterprise – automation systems developer/integrator and/or scientific institution. Application can be submitted by any participant of the potential consortium: SME facing challenges (company with less than €100 mio. Eur turnover and less than 500 employees), technology developers who can provide certain meaningful and relevant solutions, integrator, technology start-up, other institutions which specialize in technology transfer.

This is a complex solution thus the process is designed in several stages. It starts with an application submission (https://dih-squared.fundingbox.com/), followed by a brokerage event to identify the most effective grouping of problem holder and a problem solver based on the field of specialization, competences and scientific activities (up to 3 entities per one consortia). 13 consortiums shall be granted financing to implement their specific project. Applications can be submitted until October 31, 2019. Priorities as defined by the program are electronic industry, automotive, aviation, metal, plastic component manufacturing, food industry.

Accelerate your factory with up to €248K Equity Free Funding!

More on the project and the open call: https://dih-squared.fundingbox.com/

Consultations: 

Join our event in Vilnius, Lithuania on 23rd October and hear about practical cases developed in Lithuania:

  1. Vilnius event (23rd October): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/robotu-diena-vilnius-registration-74077904005

Consultancy support for writing a proposal is also available. Contact our partner sander.vandermolen@civitta.lt for more information.

Also please consult with LRA expert on any matters regarding DIH² call: Daumantas Simėnas (daumantas@ltrobotics.eu; +370 617 73339)

Official DIH² Press Release: 

DIH² launches its first open call to encourage robotics-related technology adoption in the field of manufacturing.

The European Commission project, part of the Horizon 2020 programme, will be distributing up to €248,000 to consortia made up of technology providers and manufacturing Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Mid-Caps to enable them to adopt robotics-related technology.

10th July 2019. DIH², the pan‐European network of 26 robotics Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) for Agile Production launched on 1st July 2019 its first open call. The European project will be investing close to €3 million in the course of the next eight months.

The open call will distribute up to €248,000 to 13 selected consortia. Each consortium will have a maximum of 3 members and must include a technology provider (e.g. a start-up, SME, research organisation, competence centre or any type of technology provider) and a manufacturing SME or Mid-Cap.

Many large manufacturers have developed in-house technologies to optimise their production. However, manufacturing SMEs still face significant challenges in the automation of their processes and are not able to quickly react and adapt to market changes and customer needs. The main barriers to the adoption of an Agile Production process are the lack of knowledge and economic constraints.

The DIH² first open call aims at removing the knowledge and financial barriers and enable manufacturing SMEs and Mid-Caps to collaborate with technology providers. The technology providers will work with companies to integrate robotics solutions and facilitate the adoption of an Agile Production process.

Types of applicants

Technology providers are any type of organisation specialised in technology transfer or system integration to end users. They can consist of system integrators, research and technology organisations, digital innovation hubs centres, start-ups and SMEs.

On the other hand, end users are expected to be manufacturing SMEs or Mid-Caps (organisations with a staff headcount below 500 employees and a turnover below €100 million).

The first phase of the open call

During the first phase of the open call, manufacturing SMEs, Mid-Caps and technology providers can apply individually between 1st July 2019 and 31st October 2019 through a simple application form.

10 companies from each category (technology providers and SMEs/Mid-Caps) will be selected to participate in one of 26 local brokerage events taking place at a national level across Europe. In total, 520 companies will be invited to participate in a brokerage event.

Participants will receive €1,000 each to attend a brokerage event and form a consortium with a company with a complementary activity. Consortia will receive support from one of the 26 DIHs that make up the DIH² network to prepare their application for the second stage of the open call. Companies who did not participate in the first stage are able to apply during the second stage but are not entitled to any kind of support in the preparation of their application.

The second phase of the open call

Applications during the second phase of the open call need to be submitted (by consortia of 2 to 3 members) between 3rd December 2019 and 27th February 2020. 26 applications will be selected to receive a mini-grant of €1,000 to participate in the Jury Day. A panel will evaluate the relevance and feasibility of the consortium partners.

During Jury Day, 13 consortia will be selected as the final beneficiaries of the DIH² programme and will obtain up to €246,000 extra funding plus premium technology transfer services.

About DIH²:
DIH² is a network of 26 European Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs). Our objective is to grow this network to over 170 DIHs by 2022. Led by Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy, the network has a total of 37 European partners.

The ultimate goal of DIH² is to establish a sustainable network of robotics DIHs, endowed with tools and procedures, to facilitate the commercialisation and broad uptake of Agile Production by manufacturing SMEs/Mid-Caps.

DIH² offers a number of benefits:

• A Common Open Platform Reference Architecture for Agile Production which can be instantiated to serve the needs of any Manufacturing SME by means of selecting and integrating a set of Robotic-based Open Standard Enablers [ROSE-AP].
• A Technology Transfer Program bringing support to the best-in-class Technology Transfer Experiments.
• A marketplace as one-stop-shop for SMEs with access to premier-class technical and non-technical services. A Corporate Sponsorship Program to support DIHs in liaising with component and robot suppliers, and system integrators.

This section summarises the characteristics of the open calls under the DIH² project.
DIH² has received funding from the European Commission Horizon 2020 programme under Grant Agreement 824964.

Related links:
The DIH2 Open Call Website
The Guide for Applicants

For further information: Daumantas Simėnas (daumantas@ltrobotics.eu; +370 617 73339)