L4MS launches its 1st open call with €1.5 million funding for cross-border Application Experimentsadmin
L4MS (Logistics for Manufacturing SMEs), the pan-European acceleration programme related to the robotics manufacturing industry, has launched its first call with €1.5million funding for mid-caps and SMEs, on September 1, 2018.
The open call, which has a submission deadline on November 30, 2018, at 13 CET Brussels time, is open manufacturing SMEs and Mid-Caps; automation Solution Providers; software developers; system integrators; mobile robots, sensors and equipment manufacturers, competence centres, Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) and other members of the automation value-chain, which may submit an application as individuals or as consortium.
In any case, brokerage services – linking the individual Applicants (SMEs) with system integrators, mobile robots manufactures and manufacturing SMEs – will be provided for Applicants looking for partners (in order to form consortia eligible for applying).
The programme: from research to setting up
Firstly, each selected experiment will receive up to €3,000 equity-free funding for its initial stage and will enter the Application Experiment (AE) Definition phase where L4MS will carefully select entrepreneur on residence and CEO on residence for each experiment. The AEs will have two months to develop their Technical Proposal and an Outline Business Plan.
During the next stage 12 most promising experiments will be selected for up to €247,000 equity-free funding. Selected experiments will enter the execution phase where they will receive, along the 6-month full technical, financial and business support from L4MS partners to develop the experiments proposed.
The best in class experiments will pass to the Scale Up phase.
The process is divided into 3 phases where, in addition to equity-free funding, the companies will receive extensive technical and technological support provided by:
- A network of 6 Competence Centres (CCs) specialized in Robotics, across Europe, and their respective ecosystems which will act as Marketplace facilitators: VTT (FI), IML (DE), POLIMI (IT) as consolidated Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs), together with IMECC (EE) , ICENT (HR) and CUT (CY) as emerging ones.
- Technology suppliers: ASTI (ES)-the top European AGV manufacturer and AGV supplier for Toyota (the world’s largest forklift supplier), ED (GR)- multinational ICT service provider and integrator, ENG (IT)- IoT service providers and integrators, KINE (FI)- a creative system integrator with experience on installing AGVs and VIS- providing a top 3D simulator (Visual Components®) for developing robot applications, together with the CCs will formulate use-cases and will conduct Application Experiments (AEs).
- Regional actors: The consortium includes emerging Digital Innovation Hubs and manufacturing associations: (APMR (RO), LRA (LT), PBN(HU)), and the robotics cluster (OR (DK)) which will play a key role in disseminating the L4MS Marketplace and the Open Calls. Additionally, 6 Satellite Nodes DIHs: MANUVAL (ES), PRODINTEC (ES), TRDA (PL), TTU (EE) HTEC (Serbia) and CERTH (GR)
The experiments selected will take part in a rigorous and personalised training programme and will have access to L4MS open industrial IoT platform called OPIL (Open Platform for Innovations in Logistics) together with a 3D simulator to completely virtualize the intra-factory logistics automation and drastically accelerate the innovation process in this area.
L4MS will further boost their skills thanks to FMWC, which is leading the GoingDigital initiative and will provide and develop an innovative methodology for training and reskilling workers and leadership of manufacturing SMEs.
A sector with challenges to overcome
The ambition of L4MS is to reduce the installation cost and time of mobile robots by a factor of 10. It will enable inexpensive deployment of small and flexible logistics solutions requiring no infrastructure change, no production downtime and no in-house expertise. The investment in logistics automation will become extremely attractive for European manufacturing SMEs and Mid-Caps. The use of mobile robots will not only automate the logistics (50% of the production cost) but will also provide unprecedented flexibility on the factory floor for batch production.
L4MS (Logistics for Manufacturing SMEs) aims to provide an integral, and pan-European ecosystem to address the biggest challenges in manufacturing sector, to unleash the innovation potential of manufacturing industry especially SMEs and Mid-Caps across Europe.
Project funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union, Grant Agreement No. 767642.