Coming together, getting to know each other, joining forces!
EUROP, the European Robotics Technology Platform, is an industry-driven framework for the main stakeholders in robotics to identify common initiatives and strengthen Europe’s competitiveness in robotic R&D and global markets.
Up to now, Europe has developed a strong base in industrial robotics. To help maintain its leading position and expand into the burgeoning service and security markets, the European Commission has launched an ambitious R&D programme which aims to bring forward research in robotics.
To ensure European robot manufacturers benefit from developments, and to enhance the dialogue between key industrial and academic players, the European Robotics Technology Platform EUROP was founded in 2005. Now that the Strategic Research Agenda for European Robotics (SRA) is published (July 2009), EUROP's efforts will be focused on ensuring the implementation of this guideline.
EUROP members that have jointly collaborated on the SRA, currently represent five robotics domains: industrial, professional service, domestic service, security and space robotics. The extensive analysis of market developments and future opportunities as well as the ensuing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and risks in all five sectors were identified and summed up in the SRA. Therefore, implementation of this roadmap is essential in strengthening the position of European robotics as a whole.
In order to ensure the implementation of the SRA, EUROP Executive Board has decided on the following measures:
- Promotion and dissemination of the SRA:
Inform the robotics community as to what the SRA represents and its importance for robotics in Europe.
- Strengthening the European robotics community across all the robotics sectors:
EUROP will make sure relevant information is readily available to the robotics community. It will provide information on funding possibilities, upcoming robotics events and cultivate contacts within the community in general. EUROP will work towards cross linking all robotics domains and facilitating the transfer of knowledge among them. This leads directly into the 3rd measure:
- Cooperation between industry and academia:
Without direct communication between scientists and business it will be difficult to move ahead. Therefore the industry driven EUROP and its academic counterpart EURON are in the process of establishing closer ties in the near future.
- Public relations activities for European robotics:
Although European robotics has much to offer it is underrepresented in the media and also to the public. EUROP will put more efforts towards effective public relations campaigns for European robotics and promote European robotics in various events and the media. EUROP will also participate in public awareness and education campaigns regarding robotics.
EUROP within the framework of euRobotics
EUROP is currently funded through the European Robotics Coordination Action (euRobotics) which is an EU project supported by the Seventh Framework Programme of the Information and Communication Technology. The focus of the euRobotics project is mainly the above mentioned goals of:
- Improving the cooperation between industry and academia
- Enhancing the public's perception of (European) robotics (public relations).
For more information please refer to: http://www.eurobotics-project.eu
EUROP & CARE
Funded by the European Commission through CARE, the Coordination Action for Robotics in Europe, the EUROP members have been working on an industry-driven strategy, which is both detailed and long-term. Based on concrete product visions, the SRA identifies a set of common application requirements and core technologies that are relevant to all domains. While working on the SRA, the EUROP members noticed the application requirements and robotics technologies are converging and cross-fertilizing between the different robotics domains. Therefore, the upcoming SRA will identify the key strategic research directions and common technological needs of the robotics industries which will enable Europe to develop and maintain its current leading market position.
The potential in the field of robotics in Europe is huge: there are strong robotics and automation suppliers supported by a well networked education and research community. In addition to new solutions for the more traditional large volume manufacturing industries such as the automotive industry, demand will also grow in the large number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Morevoer, increased security needs, the call for extended monitoring of everyday environments, the need for surveillance of buildings and borders can only be managed with the use of robots.
Furthermore, about 300 million households may start employing robots once the robots' more sophisticated abilities allow them to assist in homes and gardens reliably and efficiently. This is of particular interest in the context of Europe’s aging population.