INESC TEC part of project with more than €2.5M to support SMEs in the agri-food and forestry sectors

The European project agROBOfood launched its first call, aimed at funding additional Innovation Experiments.  The Open Call for Innovation Experiments is open until May 31, and it aims to encourage the adoption of robotics in the agri-food and forestry sectors.

There are €2.65M available (between 300,000€ – 500,000€ per proposal) to support small consortia (2-5 partners) that promote the use of robots in the agri-food and forestry sectors. Said consortia ought to include at least one end-user and a SME in the robotics/technology field.

The AgROBOfood is a H2020 project, developed in partnership with INESC TEC’s Centre for Robotics in Industry and Intelligent Systems (CRIIS), and launched in June 2019. This project aims to create a European ecosystem for the effective implementation of robotic technologies in the agri-food and forestry sectors and to help SMEs become more efficient and competitive.

This call reinforces the project’s mission, namely:

  • support the industry, particularly SMEs in the agri-food and forestry sectors, in the digital transformation process, through the development of demonstrators and platforms, the transfer of technology and other services;
  • support the European automation industry (agricultural machinery, material handling, etc.), so it can make the most of opportunities for guiding, supporting and teaming up with start-ups and SMEs in the robotics sector;
  • mobilise private funds (e.g. acquisitions by big industrial players, corporate VC investments, etc.) that will support the scale-up of robotic technologies and accelerate the digital transformation of the agri-food and forestry sectors.

The selection of candidates – which ought to be based in Member States, or countries associated with the Horizon 2020 programme – complies with five criteria:

  • Address a commercial need in the agri-food and forestry sectors;
  • Develop a solution supported by robotic technologies;
  • Agree on the use of cross-border network services;
  • The consortium must include a technology provider and an end-user;
  • Use a local Digital Innovation Hub (IHL) partner as the preferred point of contact. In Portugal, they can resort to INESC TEC, by contacting researcher Filipe Neves dos Santos.

The Open Call for Innovation Experiments is open until May 31; the implementation period will take place between September 2020 and May 2022.

New calls will be launched throughout the project, composed of 38 European partners. In total, there are €8M available to support Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

All relevant information for the application is available on the project’s website.

You can obtain additional information by emailing info@agrobofood.eu and filipe.n.santos@inesctec.pt or by subscribing to the agROBOfood newsletter.

The researcher mentioned in this news piece is associated with INESC TEC.

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