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COVER Awards - 1ST OPEN CALL
Deadline: 28 Feb 2019   - 75 days

EU logo mono COVR

 Electronics and Microelectronics
 IT
 IT Applications
 Robotics
 Industrial Engineering
 Internet of Things (IoT)

ARE YOU DEVELOPING A COLLABORATIVE ROBOT? OR AN APPLICATION FOR

ONE? IF SO, YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR 60,000€

This document will guide you as a potential applicant through the opportunities, requirements and expectations of the open COVR Award call. Additional information can be found in the FAQ section on http://www.safearoundrobots.com/faq.

 

THE CURRENT CALL

o Opens:November15,2018
o Closes:February28,2019
o Winnersannounced:April19,2019

There will be two further Calls with deadlines in October 2019 and June 2020. Watch the website for details.

 

INTRODUCTION TO THE COVR VISION

The need for collaboration between robots on human tasks is evident in all sectors of the European market. Collaboration however inevitably raises safety issues, and European legislation is very careful to protect people. Robot systems therefore need “certification”, i.e. to show compliance with the mandatory Essential Requirements of Safety and Health.

In our experience with end-users, robotics components manufacturers, and system integrators, safety has become a barrier to the promotion and availability of collaborative robotics technologies in all domains. This is due to a number of issues both technical (e.g. some robotics can change their behavior over time) and non-technical (e.g. understanding and correctly applying the current standards).

The EU-funded project “Being safe around collaborative and versatile robots in shared spaces” (COVR) aims to systematically break down certification barriers and support more widespread use of collaborative robots (cobots) in a wide range of industries and domains (e.g. manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, rehabilitation, agriculture).

The COVR Project has 3 main activities:

  1. Run COVR Awards to promote the development and implementation of safe cobot solutions in Europe, and provide key inputs to the Toolkit and protocols, as well as validating them. The award work is completed by award winners, with the COVR consortium monitoring and assisting the process.

  2. Develop an online accessible Toolkit to make it easier to find out which standards, directives and requirements a cobot solution must comply with, and which protocols must be completed to validate compliance. The toolkit will be tested by third parties through the award work.

  3. Write new protocols for validating cobot safety. Protocols serves as “recipes” for the tests that must be carried out in order to demonstrate that a cobot solution meets given requirements. The protocols will be tested and validated through the award projects.

These activities are all completed in a context of deploying more collaborative robots in Europe.

For detailed explanation of the COVR Toolkit and protocols, see Appendix 1. For glossary, see Appendix 2.

 

COVR AWARDS ARE WORTH 5.4M€

COVR will give away 5.4M€ to “third parties” i.e. organisations outside the project, across three calls for projects. Most awards will be given to organizations with a cobot product or system to develop, install or assess. The idea is that the award beneficiaries will act as alpha and beta testers for COVR while they develop their own cobot. You will use the COVR Toolkit and protocols through your work and help to complete them – finding bugs and gaps, adding your specific domain knowledge, finding and describing ways of testing the features of interest and recommending changes. This will be done parallel with progressing your own cobot application/product on a specific safety-related issue. Award beneficiaries are required to use COVR facilities and services, but the bulk of the work may take place anywhere in Europe, e.g. at your own sites or in operational settings.

 

DOMAINS AND COBOT TYPES

There are many cobots being developed to address unique use-cases in a variety of domains. Therefore, the COVR consortium has designed the open calls to be very broad, accepting applications within a wide range of domains for almost all types of cobots. Applications with a high degree of novelty where the cobot solution has a non-mainstream use-case will be especially favored, to broaden the scope of the COVR Toolkit and protocols.

The first call will primarily focus on cobot safety within manufacturing and rehabilitation, while the subsequent calls will include the domains of logistics, agriculture, wearables, personal care and other. Note that the first call will also accept applications outside of manufacturing and rehabilitation.

There are a few types of devices that are not eligible for COVR Awards:

• Drones

  • Autonomous road vehicles

  • Cobots for military use

  • Cobots that penetrate the human body

 

ELIGIBLE AWARD WORK AND REQUIREMENTS

COVR is looking for applications from companies or organizations working with robots that collaborate with humans. Robots working in spaces shared with and accessible to humans is the minimal requirement, while “plus” points will be obtained for closer collaboration. Applications shall focus on human safety around these types of robots, seeking to define best practice for their specific technology and/or application.

Eligible work includes at least one of:

  • Make safety validations of cobot installations/products

  • Develop a new cobot product(s) or improve an existing product, focusing on safety

    perspectives

  • Develop or adapt robot peripheral equipment, focusing on safe human-robot collaboration

  • Create or improve safety validation protocols for cobots

  • Set up cobots in new application areas

  • Develop and benchmark new tools, techniques or tests for collaborative robot safety

  • Gather empirical data to answer open questions in standardization

    There are also some mandatory activities that must be completed in all Award projects. These are:

  • Completing an introductory course, learning how to use the COVR toolkit and about COVR’s protocols and procedures

  • Use and test the safety protocols, procedures etc. produced by the COVR project and relevant to your case

  • Document your experiences with every project element using our Worksheets and questionnaires

  • Continuously communicate progress to your assigned contact person

  • Support the making of videos of non-secret aspects of your work

  • Present your experiences at a single COVR dissemination event

  • Collect your overall experiences with COVR into a final end-of-project report

 

DELIVERABLES AND MILESTONES

All Award work must be completed over a 9-month timespan. Applicants choose 2 mandatory Milestones to be reached during their project, to allow project progress to be monitored. The completion of these is documented through submission of one or more deliverables for each milestone.

 

SINGLE APPLICANTS AND CONSORTIA

The COVR Award calls are open to both single organizations and consortia of up to 4 companies/organizations. For eligibility criteria for the organizations, see section “ELIGIBILITY CHECK”. A named individual will be the Lead Applicant, who will be the main contact for communication.

 

 

AWARD FUNDING

The following funding rules apply:

  • For single organizations the funding is a fixed €60.000.

  • Consortia can apply for a minimum of €60.000 and maximum of €150.000 to be shared so that

    no partner receives more than €60.000. Consortia’s can be a maximum of 4 organizations.

  • No single organization can exceed a maximum cumulative total of €100.000 across multiple COVR Awards over the course of the entire project runtime..

This third party funding is primarily intended to pay for time spent completing the activities described in your application. The maximum amount to be spent on equipment is set at 15% of the Award total and is not meant to be used for large purchases such as robots and machines. As an example, Award recipients can use the money to procure components and sub-assemblies such as grippers, sensors and consumables or purchase software licenses. The maximum grant funding available for travel expenses is also set to 15% of the Award total.

Costs will be reimbursed in three lump sums. Only project-related, actual incurred costs can be reimbursed.

Beneficiaries will receive their award according to the following schedule:

  1. A lump sum representing 40% of the agreed award on completion of the introductory course or after contract signing, whichever comes latest.

  2. A second lump sum representing 40% after 6 calendar months (as long as progress is to COVR satisfaction) or when the work is completed (both project Milestones have been reached to COVR satisfaction), whichever comes soonest.

  3. A lump sum representing up to 20% when their work is fully completed, documented and signed off by the COVR partner responsible. These final stages include support for dissemination activities, submission of questionnaires and a COVR end-of-experience report.

 

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS

In addition to the funding, recipients of a COVR Award will benefit from:

  • Access to expert knowledge at the COVR Core Consortium Partners

  • Access to Shared Safety Facilities (SSF), including state of the art test equipment

  • Becoming familiar with best practices for validating cobot safety

  • Receiving guidance about which standards apply to their case

  • Becoming part of the COVR Network, which will remain a strong source for safety related information

 

APPLICATION FORMALIA

  • Applications must be in English and follow the template

  • Employees of the partner RTOs may not apply.

Fulfill the general requirements for H2020 funding e.g. secure audit trail.

 

HOW TO APPLY

Submit an application via https://covraward.smapply.io

The application will consist of 5 parts. The first 4 are mostly administrative while the last will focus on the work to be completed and technical aspects of the Award project.

Part A: Project name, description and public summary Part B: Primary beneficiary details
Part C: Consortium partner information (if any)
Part D: Additional information checkboxes:

  • Select domain, dominant technology and type of work to be carried out.

  • How you learned about the COVR Award open call.

  • Specify if personal sensitive data will be collected in the project, and if so, how it will be managed. Please see section “ETHICS AND HANDLING OF PERSONAL DATA” to get additional information on relevant legislation.

  • Specify if your project raises ethical concerns. Please see section “ETHICS AND HANDLING OF PERSONAL DATA” to get additional information on relevant legislation.

Part E: Project activities and impact

  • Describe the work to be completed within the Award project.

  • Describe the primary outcomes of the Award work, and how this will impact yourselves, the COVR Project and cobot deployment in the European Union.

  • Describe the primary technical challenges you expect to address, the novelty of the work and the data generated in the project.

  • Choose your 2 mandatory Milestones, specifying the objectives to be reached at each milestone and the deliverables that document that the milestone has been achieved.

  • Provide an overview of the personnel expected to do the work, especially their cobot experience and safety experience.

  • Specify in EURO the total sum applied for in the COVR Award application and how it is distributed between the partners.

 



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