Digital and emerging technologies for competitiveness and fit for the green deal (HORIZON-CL4-2022-DIGITAL-EMERGING-01)

05/04/22
5000000 €
Proposals are expected to integrate and optimise AI, data and robotics solutions in order to demonstrate, by addressing use-cases scenarios in actual or highly realistic operating environments, how they optimise production and service use cases. Activities are expected to start at TRL 3-5 and achieve TRL 6-7 by the end of the project – see General Annex B.
ExpectedOutcome:

Proposal results are expected to contribute to at least one of the following expected outcomes:

  • Advancing AI, data and robotics, and automation for the optimisation of production and services value-chains, optimisation of products, services, processes, to increase competitiveness, improve working conditions, and environmental sustainability, and supporting the European Economy using AI, data and robotics technologies.
  • AI or learning systems (including, but not limited to self-learning, continuous and transfer learning, self-configuring systems) adapting production or services workflows to changing environments, dynamic and unpredictable resource constraints and to the capabilities and restrictions of humans and transferring results from one domain to another.
 Scope:

Proposals are expected to integrate and optimise AI, data and robotics solutions in order to demonstrate, by addressing use-cases scenarios in actual or highly realistic operating environments, how they optimise production and service use cases.

Industry-empowering AI, data and robotics: enable and boost wide spread deployment of European technologies, in demonstrating clear benefits in particular applications coming from major industrial sectors, in improving processes, products or services, contributing to their competitiveness, quality of services, and strategy for environmental sustainability. Providing industry with more autonomous and more intuitive and easier to operate technologies they can trust and that are tailored for their needs, with the adapted and guaranteed levels of performance, reliability, safety, dependability, security and transparency. Providing trustworthy AI solutions combining various sources of data, sensors, interaction and information to address industrial challenges; combining the power of latest progress in AI, FAIR[1] data, autonomous or interactive robotics, smart devices and next generation networks and computing to increase automation and optimise processes, resources, and services, and addressing new technological challenges removing barriers for industrial deployment, and improving trust through more transparent and explainable AI. Where relevant latest development from low power consuming sensors, actuators and mechanisms, as well as new energy sources and batteries will be exploited to ensure energy autonomy for robotics. Promoting versatile, flexible, scalable, resilient physical and digital architecture that facilitate the future AI, data and robotics based services adoption.

Proposals should demonstrate how major European industries (covering all the sectors, from production[2] to services) can substantially benefit from optimising AI, data and/or robotics to maximise such benefits. Proposals are expecting to focus on specific use-cases to demonstrate such benefits, cross-sector use-cases are encouraged. Added value to the selected use-cases should be demonstrated by qualitative and quantitative industry and service relevant KPIs, demonstrators, benchmarking and progress monitoring.

While the proposals should be application driven, involving problem owners to define needs and validate the proposed solution, the focus is on optimising the enabling of AI, data and robotics technologies to maximise the benefit they bring.

Proposals should focus on demonstrating the added value of AI and/or Data and/or Robotics technologies to optimise value-chains, products, services or associated processes, including knowledge automation (including capturing and elicitation), to increase competitiveness, environmental sustainability, and where relevant, working conditions, for example, through added flexibility, configurability, adaptability, etc.

Digital twin approaches could be considered, where necessary and of added value.

Proposals should also address non-technical issues hampering the adoption of AI, data and robotics in the selected application domain, e.g. ethical aspects for the possible replacement of human operators, trust, human-robots collaboration and cooperation, security and safety.

Proposals will address the production or service sector, where substantial added value of AI, data and/or robotics can be demonstrated. This should be demonstrated with actual or highly realistic operating demonstrators at TRL6-7.
 

Two types of proposals are expected:

  1. Focused projects (EU contribution around EUR 3.00 milliom), involving the user industry and technology provider(s),
  2. Larger projects (EU contribution around EUR 5.00 million), where a number of companies in a given application sector will identify in the proposal common challenges and use-cases, and organise competitive calls for AI, data and robotics solution providers to address such challenges. Competitive calls will be open to all types of companies, but only SMEs and Start-ups[3] will receive financial support to third parties, with a maximum of EUR 200 000 per third party[4] and 70% funding (100% for start-ups). At least 40% of the requested amount should be dedicated to financial support to third parties. The consortium will provide technical support with expertise in engineering integration, testing and validation to support the selected SMEs and start-ups acting as technology providers to demonstrate the added value of their solutions to address the challenges of the use-cases. Maximum one type of third party project will be funded per focused area (either production or services).