Q: Who can apply for a voucher?
A: Small, medium and large companies, and universities.
Q: Do I need to be a robotics specialist to apply?
A: No. We accept voucher applications from production companies that see a potential for robotics in their production line, as well as robotics developers with novel ideas for new technology.
Q: Can you help me fill in the application and formulate my idea?
A: If you have any specific questions for the application, you are very welcome to join one of our Open Labs in Denmark, United Kingdom, Spain or Germany, where we will have specialists ready to answer your questions.
Q: Can I propose any idea in the voucher application?
A: No. Your idea has to involve novel ideas related to robotics to be accepted. A good indication is if you need an automation solution but can't find an integrator who can sell it to you, or if you work on developing a great automation concept that you cannot find on the market already.
Q: Can I apply directly for the pilot projects?
A: No. Only those with a granted voucher can apply to become a pilot project but ROBOTT-NET encourages applications from consortia including companies which have not previously been part of a Voucher project. Are you a voucher holder? Then download the pilot applicant kit here.
Q: How can ROBOTT-NET can help me with my project?
A: Look at the four bullets points p. 3 and the Annexes text p. 18 and 19 in the applicant guide. There is no financial support, though.
Q: Do I have to accurately specify who will be doing doing what, and do I have to specify the division of consultancy hours on specific tasks to be done?
A: No, definitely not. You just have to specify the headlines of what you expect to be achieved during the voucher work. If your application is selected, an agreement will then be made between you and the ROBOTT-NET partner(s), specifying tasks and goals in more detail.
Q: What about confidentiality before the selection process, once the project has been accepted and after the project has finished?
A: All reviewers are signing a confidentiality agreement, ensuring that no details from your application are shared with any third parties. Only the ROBOTT-NET evaluator personnel will have access. The only public document is the public summary of the application. If your application is selected, a project agreement will be made with all parties who will participate in the voucher work, detailing confidentiality. Once the project is finished, as specified by the applicant guide (p. 15), "results are made available to the general public, to ensure technology transfer and impact in the industry, though at all times subject to the duty of confidentiality defined in the Agreement. Company secrets and other sensitive information will be kept strictly confidential, and only general information about the new concepts introduced through voucher work should be available for public communication of the ROBOTT-NET project activities."
Q: There is some kind of secret 'black box' within my project. How do I deal with this aspect within my application?
A: There is no problem about having a 'black box' process. It is only a matter of specifying it in the application, with general and common terms, with an effort of keeping the description of the project meaningful. Keep in mind though that the philosophy behind this initiative is to lead your idea or your concept towards a commercial product and that this aspect must be emphasized and demonstrated, by a video for example, though at all times subject to the duty of confidentiality defined in the Agreement.
Q: If I am from a university with no direct link with the market, will it be taken into account during the evaluation? And how do I fill-in the market-related sections in the application?
A: The initiative is actually made exactly for that. You have to emphasize in your application the fact that your good idea can lead to a great commercial project. And that you need help to transform your concept into a good business case and to know the market, etc. Fill in the application as best you can. It is perfectly fine to have a great idea, but then having to write in the market sections that this is an area you have not worked with yet, and need help for. If you can fill in every single field in the application with a perfect and detailed description, you probably don't need the help of ROBOTT-NET.
Q: What about the ownership of the technologies and concepts developed during the project?
A: Ownership is taken care of in a standard IPR agreement for technology development projects, which will be made between all parties in each voucher, after it is selected.
Q: What are the evaluation criteria?
A: Look at the applicant guide Annexes p. 20.
Q: Are there extensive administrative duties that I need to deal with during the project?
A: No. The administrative duties are run by the consortium, which means almost none on your part.
Q: What is the agenda regarding the selection process?
A: There are two selection phases conducted by the consortium. Every application submitted before the 13th of July 2016 will be evaluated during the summer and the result of the evaluation will be given the 15th of September 2016. You can apply again from the 15th of September 2016 until the 14th of December 2016 and the evaluation results will be communicated the 28th of February 2017. It is possible to apply during both these two phases. After having applied for the first evaluation phase, if not accepted, you can reapply for the second evaluation phase, basing your adjustments on the feedback of the consortium during the first evaluation of your voucher idea. ROBOTT-NET strongly recommends to apply already before the first call deadline, as this will significantly increase your odds.
Q: Can I be sure that a specific RTO will be the one to carry out my voucher?
A: No. However, you can mention your opinion in the application, and explain why it would make best sense for you to work with a specific RTO during the voucher work.
The final selection of who will work on the winning vouchers, is decided in agreement between all four RTOs in ROBOTT-NET, who will do their best to take your preferences into account.
Q: My question was not answered. What can I do now?
A: Please read the official ROBOTT-NET voucher applicant guide, which contains many details regarding the call and applications. If you still cannot find an answer to your general question, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.