How to get there

The role of SPARC

In a technology based economy the role of public bodies is to develop and implement policy that supports the creation of a viable and relevant science base, while the role of private industry is to transform the resulting technical advantage into products and services thus creating wealth and economic growth.

SPARC embodies this symbiosis.

SPARC joins together the European Commission, on the public side, and euRobotics AISBL on the private side. Where euRobotics AISBL represents the interests of the robotics community in Europe, SPARC disseminates its intentions through delivery of the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) supported by the multiannual roadmap (MAR), and the updating of these documents to reflect new developments and markets.

The Strategic Research Agenda is a compendium for SPARC’s operation 2014-2020.

The SPARC community constitutes the full spectrum of interest in robotics across Europe; On one side, the European Commission and, on the other, European researchers, industry and end users. euRobotics AISBL, led by industry, having equal representation from the industrial and research communities in its executive and a wide range of members also engages with end users and interested parties through associate membership.

The Roadmapping process developed in SPARC is a transparent and rational methodology to develop ontologies, criteria, and assessments of potentials, with technology and market inputs from Topic Groups and external experts. The outcome are recommendations to the Commissions for Calls, both in terms of targets and the most appropriate project types (instruments).

Strategic Research Agenda (SRA)

The Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) provides a high level strategic overview for the robotics community. It is also intended to act as an introduction to the European robotics community for non-robotic specialists, policy makers, entrepreneurs and industries intending to use or work within the robotics market.

Its companion document, the multi-annual Roadmap (MAR) is a more detailed technical guide identifying expected progress within the community and providing a detailed analysis of medium term research and innovation goals.

If you are a policy maker, investor, or entrepreneur trying to understand the robotics market in Europe you should read this document. It will give you an overview of the status and potential of robotics. Depending on your interests some parts of the companion document “Multi-annual Roadmap MAR”, particularly those relating to innovation and products, may provide a deeper insight.

If you are an innovator, technologist or researcher you may find the detail you are looking for in the “Multi-annual Roadmap MAR” document, and a higher level overview of robotics in Europe in this document.

Click here to download the last version of SRA

Multi-annual Roadmap (MAR)

The Multi-annual Roadmap (MAR) is a companion to the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) providing a greater level of technical and market detail. Compared with the SRA, the MAR is a more detailed technical guide identifying expected progress within the community and providing a detailed analysis of medium term research and innovation goals. It is updated annually as priorities, technologies and strategic developments shape European research development and innovation (R&D&I). Robotics is a diverse field and the MAR relies on expert opinion in each domain and technical field to provide and verify the information within it. The annual review process examines each key technical and market area to ensure material is brought up to date.

The annual update process utilises the expertise within Topic Groups formed by euRobotics aisbl and seeks open consultation. You, the reader, are encouraged to engage with this process and to contribute your knowledge to the content of this document. It will then reflect and sustain a live discourse on the current state of robotics technology. The previous Wiki is no longer available, a new Wiki will be set up soon.

Download the H2020 Robotics Multi-Annual Roadmap ICT-2017.


Topic Groups (and how to join)

Experienced delegates from the euRobotics member organisations, supported by external experts, work in 25 Topic Groups. Topic Groups develop suggestions and have to undergo a scrutinised procedure to be matched with given criteria. The priorities for R&D&I funding, including near market activities, will be derived from the MAR as a part of the annual review cycle.

Topic Groups are initiated by members of euRobotics AISBL and coordinated by the Board of Directors. They can be:

  • Sector groups such as: industrial robotics, professional service robotics, domestic service robotics, security robotics, space robotics, medical and healthcare robotics, agricultural robotics;
  • Groups covering the supply chain such as: component suppliers, system integrators, service providers;
  • End user groups covering existing and new markets for robotic systems;
  • Technology-related groups as identified in strategic documents and roadmaps.

They identify gaps and challenges, describe the desired paths towards solutions, milestones to be reached at specified instants in time and with a specified quality. They identify Innovation Milestones, and mobilise members and non-members to realise them, and to support their subsequent exploitation. All activities span the full spectrum from basic research, to technological development, and concrete innovation, showing smooth paths of knowledge transfer along the covered spectrum, and identifying concrete actual and potential academia-industry cooperation. Topic Groups are the instrument to provide content to the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) and the multiannual Roadmap (MAR) of euRobotics aisbl. Reader of the Multi-Annual Roadmap (MAR) are encouraged to engage with this process and to contribute your knowledge to the content of the document. It will then reflect and sustain a live discourse on the current state of robotics technology. You can do this by joining euRobotics and then contributing to the Topic Groups.

> List of Topic Groups of euRobotics aisbl

Recommendations to the Commission within the PPP consultation process

Robotics encompasses a broad spectrum of different technical disciplines and impacts on a wide range of market domains in diverse ways. The scope of R&D&I is driven by technology, the diversity of market sectors and the need to maintain the innovation pipelines that connect the two together. Any prioritisation of strategy must start by seeking to establish the linkage between improvements in technical capability and market need. This linkage and the corresponding technical requirements will be captured in the PPP roadmap.

The scope of R&D&I is also framed by the European societal challenges that can be addressed with robotics technology. Effective solutions will require the cohesive integration of a wide range of expertise combined with changes to societal and legal frameworks. The PPP has a role in ensuring that its strategy aligns with these challenges and maximises the impact of robotics technology as a potential solution. It is vital to Europe’s economic and societal interests that these impacts are maximised through an appropriate choice of R&D&I priorities. In setting priorities the PPP must take into account this long view of market maturation as well as the shorter time scale defined within Horizon 2020.

The MAR is the basis for developing in Partnership with the Commission content, the selection of instruments (types of projects), and priorities for Calls and actions in the field of robotics under H2020.