Aiming to discover, support and fund innovative projects in the robotics industry, pan-European robotics accelerator program, Robot Union, will select 40 start-ups that develop projects within the field of robotics, linked to the manufacturing, agri-food, health and civil infrastructure industries.
14 partners – including four Danish – from eight different countries have launched the Robot Union: The first European robot acceleration program funded by the EU with the purpose of discovering, supporting and financing projects in the robot industry.
Robot Union will address two major barriers that hinder the development and market uptake of robotic 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 program will bring the top researchers and entrepreneurs together to stimulate new robotics innovations in Europe. 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. The acceleration program includes technical and business mentoring and training, access to public and private investment, engagement with corporates or PR exposure.
Each selected company will receive up to 223,000 euros, equity free, in initial funding stages. The best performing companies participating in the program, will obtain an additional 1 million euros of private investment.
The four Danish partners in the project are City of Odense, MADE, Danish Technological Institute and FundingBox Nordics. Odense plays a key role because of the strong robotics cluster in the city. FundingBox, who will lead the activities, has decided to start activities in Odense in order to become more closely connected to the companies and robotic ecosystem in the city.
Roi Rodríguez de Bernardo, Project Manager of Robot Union at FundingBox, is moving to Odense with his family this summer and is looking forward to living in the city. “Odense has a great robotics cluster which is why we are establishing FundingBox Nordics here, but it is also a nice city. My son will attend the international school, and I have already plans of playing basketball with new established friends once a week”, Roi says.
Robot Union fits perfectly into Odense’s profile as a robot city. “It is really great that the local robot investor network now has a European dimension that helps to emphasize our ambition to be a leader in robot technology worldwide”, says Peter Rahbæk Juel, mayor of Odense, about the project.
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