ERF 2024 Rimini Report, Italy 13th-15th March 2024

2024 04 30

The European Robotics Forum (ERF) is one of the most impactful annual events in robotics and artificial intelligence in Europe. This year it was held from the 13th to the 15th of March in Rimini, Italy. More than 1200 participants from 42 different countries with over a 100 workshops and topical sessions, more than 70 exhibitors and the WhoIsWho in European Robotics came together for three exiting days. The theme for 2024 ERF was ROBOTICS UNITES: People, Countries, Disciplines

ERF2024 Workshop TRINITY Innovation Network- steps forward

The workshop was held on Wednesday March 13th 8:00, entitled: ‘TRINITY Innovation Network – Steps Forward’ and is part of a larger collaboration initiative between euRobotics and Innovation Networks, with a shared interest to support each other’s activities and to develop and promote research, innovation and deployment at the intersection of the 4 strategic areas (Inspection and Maintenance, Healthcare, Agile Manufacturing and Agrifood) and Robotics. The primary objective is to establish a shared understanding among partners on collaborative activities that benefit both the European robotics and the 4 strategic areas research and innovation ecosystems.

The workshop brought together different key R&D&I projects within Europe to discuss Innovation networks and the role companies, academics and other stakeholders can play. Different projects provided their viewpoints and plans regarding sustainability of innovation networks. These included:

  • DIGITOP – Digital transformation of robot-supported factories of the future, Dr. Miha Deniša, Josef Stefan Institute.
    • The DIGITOP program’s primary objective is to introduce advanced digital technologies like robotics, AI, and Industry 4.0 and 5.0, into manufacturing sectors through nine R&D projects at various development stages. The goal is to streamline and improve production processes, thereby securing industrial production within Slovenia and the EU with support from both research organizations and industrial partners.
  • EARASHIEmbodied AI/Robotics Applications for a Safe Human-oriented Industry, Isabelle Dor, CEA-Leti.
    • EARASHI aims to improve working conditions, trust, and acceptance of collaborative embodied AI in robotic systems Thanks to the Financial Support to Third Parties programme– EARASHI supports and invests in early discovery and industrial uptake of new technologies by European Start-ups and SMEs
  • JARVISIntersubjective AI-driven multimodal interaction for advanced user-centric human robot collaborative applications, Mr. Nikos Dimitropoulos, LMS,
    • JARVIS shares the vision to enhance the competitiveness of the EU industry through human-robot collaboration, with significant scientific, economic, and societal impact.
  • ODINOpen-Digital-Industrial and Networking pilot lines using modular components for scalable production, Dr. Apostolis Papavasileiou.
    • ODIN aims to demonstrate that novel robot-based production systems are not only technically feasible, but also efficient and sustainable for immediate introduction at the shopfloor
  • Continuing the TRINTY mission trough Digital Accelerator of Latvia (DAoL) and MOTE, Peteris Racinskis, EDI.
    • Digital Accelerator of Latvia (DAoL) aims to promote digital transformation and innovation, to improve the competitiveness of Latvian companies and the quality of public services through new digital solutions. Technological improvements of robotic systems in project MOTE – a framework for the perception and interpretation of complex scenes.

An engaging discussion session involving workshop participants and invited project representatives was conducted to address various open issues and gather diverse opinions. Key questions explored during this session included:

  • What are the critical activities and services that Innovation Networks should prioritize for further development?
  • How can we ensure the sustainability of these initiatives?

A lively discussion in different groups of stakeholders led to the following statements:

Implementing robotics and AI in SMEs

Implementing robotics and AI in SMEs involves identifying specific needs and goals of the business. This could range from automating repetitive tasks to improving operations or streamlining supply chain management. Starting small with a single process or a specific area where AI can have an immediate impact is often a wise approach. However, challenges such as limited AI, robotics and digitalization skills, high costs and lack of strategy can hinder the adoption of AI and robotics innovations. Therefore, providing knowledge to accept AI and robotics, and guidance on how to integrate and work with it is crucial. Data protection is also an important aspect that needs to be addressed.

Role of System Integrators

System integrators play a pivotal role in enabling AI deployments and guiding SMEs in realizing their AI ambitions. They understand the unique needs and goals of the client, can design and develop specific AI and robotics solutions, and provide integration, implementation, management, and training services to maintain the solutions.  They are also experts in data safety and dataflow, which is a critical development task for SMEs in the near future.


TRINITY Innovation Network

The main objective of TRINITY is to act as a network of multidisciplinary and synergistic local digital innovation hubs (DIHs) composed of research centers, companies, and university groups that could contribute to agile production. TRINITY can act as a middleman for SMEs, providing opportunities for external stakeholders to kick-start new initiatives, advising profitable development goals. While there may be associated costs for SME support from specialists, it’s a proven way to propel them towards development. Additionally, TRINITY can keep SMEs informed about relevant Fundings (FSTPs).”

TRINITY should therefore remain active in networking, organizing events and invite existing and new stakeholders to participate.


Whats next?

TRINITY Innovation Network will continue its activities as a key enabling network in the area of agile production and towards the topic of robotics and AI, digitalization and other key related topics. Engagement and interaction is enabled by a dedicated communication channel for networking events, updates and discussions.

Join the Network → HERE

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