Over the next three years, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland will be the technical coordinator and lead over 50% of the project activities with FundingBox.
Robot Union will address the two major barriers that hinder the development and market uptake of robotics technologies for entrepreneurs and start-ups: the elevated setup costs and the lack of awareness of potential benefits of robotics. This is a unique opportunity for the SMEs to use robotics and enter the world of artificial intelligence.
“The Robot Union accelerator will bring the top researchers and entrepreneurs together to stimulate new robotics innovations in Europe", notes Ali Muhammad Technical, coordinator of the project at VTT. The 20 start-ups and SMEs, selected in each of the two open calls to be launched by Robot Union will enter into an acceleration program of 6 to 12 months.
Each selected company will receive up to 223,000 euros equity free for its initial funding stages.
The best performing companies participating in the programme, will obtain an additional 1 million euros of private investment from the Chrysalix Venture Capital and Odense Seed & Venture.
The programme will bring together research centres, large corporations and innovative start-ups and SMEs by overcoming the elevated costs associated with market entry and the development of specific technologies. Extensive technical support will be provided by leading institutes in robotics R&D in Europe: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the Danish Technological Institute, TU Delft, Tecnalia and PIAP.
Participants will also have access to a wide international network of recognized mentors from Google, Airbnb, Ikea, Yahoo, Prisa and Microsoft, among others. The selected entrepreneurs will also have direct contact with leaders of the manufacturing, agri-food, health and civil infrastructure industries via the participation of organizations including MADE, Ferrovial Servicios, Arla Foods and Fenin.
The selected start-ups and SMEs will also benefit from increased visibility through their participation in top international events such as 4YFN Barcelona, Slush and the Web Summit.