From April until July 2020, COVR’s third and final Open Call attracted more applications than previous calls: 90 proposals were submitted to acquire third party funding of projects related to cobot safety. This is 11% more than received in Open Call 2. The spread of the COVR Awards is expanding when compared to the previous calls, as shown by partners involved from 16 countries, including 2 from Africa and 1 from the Middle-East. In the final round, most productive countries were France with involvement in 37 applications, Germany involved in 31 applications and Denmark and Spain are tied in third place, each being involved in 24 applications.

Covering multiple domains

All applications combined ask for over 8.4M€ of financial support for their cobot safety project. The most frequent cobot domain represented in the current applications is manufacturing, similar to previous Open Calls. Runners-up are healthcare and rehabilitation, followed by agriculture (incl. agro-food), logistics and professional services (incl. personal assistance robots and robots in public spaces) with similar shares. Noteworthy other topics covered are law and policymaking, and hazard identification. Looking at the primary technology used in those domains, we see a large presence of robotic manipulators and mobile robots, followed by rehabilitation robots (incl. assistance robots) and sensors.

Collaborating on cobot safety

A total of 178 organizations are involved in the 90 applications. Nearly two-thirds of the applications involve a collaboration of multiple, up to 4, partners. The organisations seeking funds for cobot safety projects are diverse, with research technology organisations (RTOs, incl. universities; 35%) and technology developers (29%) represented most, while also system integrators (19%) and end-users (12%) are well represented. Lead partners are most often technology developers and RTOs, system integrators and end-users are mostly involved as collaborating partner(s).

Finding the COVR Open Call

People found out about the COVR final Open Call predominantly through contact with COVR partners and their personal networks. Noteworthy is that the next biggest source were listings of the Open Call on EU websites and other funding identifiers. Also, recognition within various networks for roboticists, counting both events and information networks, accounted for a substantial part.

Winners announced early October 2020

The 90 applications are now in the final stages of evaluation by cobot experts external to the COVR project. Each application is thoroughly and systematically reviewed and scored by three experts. Based on their scores, the top ranked applications will be selected and announced as winners of the final COVR Awards by October 2020. Stay tuned to find out who will win the Awards: www.safearoundrobots.com!