Inspection and Maintenance (I&M) represents a large economic activity – global market estimated at 450 Billion Euro – spanning across multiple sectors such as energy, oil&gas, water supply, transport, civil engineering and infrastructure. There is massive potential for robotic applications, to increase productivity and improve safety, but the total market size of robotics is still negligible in relation to the overall market size.
Currently EU is a global leader in this rapidly growing field with more than half of all manufacturers of I&M robots based in Europe. EU hosts over 50% of I&M robotics offer but there is a bottleneck connecting it to the market and high potential applications.
RIMA (Robotics for Inspection and Maintenance) is a 4-year project aiming to tackle this gap by establishing a network of 13 Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) and industry associations to support the uptake of robotics – and help small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to develop novel solutions for different industry sectors.
RIMA is funded by European Union’s Horizon2020 initiative.
RIMA supports financially and technically 50 cross-border experiments involving European Small and Medium-sized enterprises through 2 Open Call rounds (2019 / 2020) with a total amount of 8.1M€.
Successful candidates will receive equity-free funding for Technology transfer and development in I&M robotic applications.
RIMA aspires to bring together DIHs and Facilitators operating under a common network that allow them to join forces and competences in promoting I&M robotics. The facilitator organisations have the connections and network to reach a broad set of industries in their domains of expertise.
The Digital innovation hubs offer key acceleration services for companies. These DIHs are linked to organizations involved in research and innovation activities, and they offer expertise in robotics, equipment and services applicable for I&M operations.
The RIMA Digital Innovation Hubs provide skills and tools to implement the latest methods in knowledge transfer between academia and industry.
The RIMA training framework aims to increase digital skills and knowledge of robotics, especially within the I&M domain, amongst a wide range of people – from students starting out on their career path, through the current workforce who need to retrain, managers who need to understand the importance and effect of digitisation, and start-up technology development companies that need concrete information and support for getting their upcoming technology to market.