The three EuRoC challenges will be organised into three successive stages, as illustrated in this time line diagram over the 4 years of the project life, where the milestones (MS#) are indicated and the project workshops + dissemination events at major European venues are highlighted. On the time line the reviews are also indicated (R#).
Stage I – QUALIFYING: Simulation Contest
A call for challenge applications will be issued and published (04/2014).
In parallel, a call for end users and system integrators will be issued and published (04/2014).
Applicant teams could be formed by research experts (academia), solution‐oriented or innovating companies (industry).
Admission to qualifying stage is granted on the basis of 1‐page pitch: team description and objectives for challenges.
The simulation contests are ranked according to objective metrics (criteria and grading system). The best 45 contestants (3 × 15) are selected based on their scores in the tests in Mo11 to become prospective challengers.
Advance to next Stage:
Prospective challengers are given an opportunity to form teams with system integrators and end users (match making, first‐ranked first‐priority) and submit short proposals at 02/2015 with budget information (max. 15 pages), of which the best 3 x 5 will be selected to become the official Challenger Teams (03/2015).
The 30 (or less) excluded teams will receive each € 5000 for the effort in helping to devise the right benchmarks/tests/criteria. They can redeem this money at the benchmarking workshop where they can be recruited by the selected Challenger Teams (no challenger will be allowed to become a member in two proposals).
The evaluation will be carried out by the Challenge Advisory Board (CAB) with the help of external reviewers and renowned independent experts, and it will be based on novelty of the application, level of difficulty of the use case, potential market for it, strength of the team, further to the rank in the simulation contest.
Stage II – REALISTIC LABS: Benchmarking, free-style and showcase
Each Challenger Team will receive a financial support of up to € 375000, i.e. € 250000 for Round A (benchmarking + free‐style) and € 125000 for Round B (showcase). The support for B will be granted provided that the work performed in A is satisfactorily assessed.
A mid‐term evaluation will take place after Round A at 05/2016 so as to allow for a comparative assessment, with public competition @ Automatica 2016. The event will be attended by the CAB and four renowned independent experts for each challenge, who will decide admission to Round B.
Round B concerns with an end‐user driven task aimed at showcasing customizability under realistic manufacturing conditions.
Advance to final Stage:
A suitable challenge workshop will take place at each site (10/2016) with the attendance of the Challenge Advisor at‐Large (CAL), the Challenge Advisor for European Robotics Industries (CAERI), the Challenge Advisor for that challenge and four renowned independent experts.
Challenger Teams will be ranked according to objective metrics (criteria and grading system) the day after the workshop in a one‐day on‐site evaluation panel.
Upon approval by the EC, 3 x 2 Challenge Finalists will be selected for the Field Tests stage of each challenge (12/2016).
The remaining 9 applications developed in the Challenge stage represent very good candidates for exploitation by end users, but will no longer be funded by EuRoC; these 9 Challenger Teams are expected to exploit their results independently. (12/2016).
Stage III – FIELD TESTS: Pilot Experiments
This last stage involves much engineering effort because the general solutions developed during the Realistic Labs stage will be customised for end users and tested on the field. Only the 6 finalist teams will receive additional funding to carry out this last step from realistic to real manufacturing conditions.
The field tests will be carried out in 9 months under real (not “only” realistic) manufacturing conditions, and showcased minimum at one end‐user site per challenge.
This stage could be interpreted as prize money (€ 210000 for each Challenge Finalist), but it always comes with the obligation to prove reusability and adaptability of the benchmarked solutions in practice at real end‐user site.
In the end, 6 high‐value projects (pilot experiments) on 6 different use cases are brought to fruition, which are (very) close to commercialisation.
Meanwhile, the other 9 teams not receiving any funding will still be allowed access to the benchmark sites as to encourage them to bring their demonstrators closer to a commercial product or service.
The results of the field test will be demonstrated by the Challenge Finalists to the public during a final challenge workshop @ IPA site (Mo45). The other 9 Challenger Teams will be invited to this workshop for further demonstration of their benchmarking results.
At the end of the final challenge workshop, the 6 Challenge Finalists will undergo a final evaluation by a Board of Judges (BoJ.
Judging will be based on criteria such as technical feasibility, market and competition, potential of exploitation, benefit to the society, team skills, etc.
A EuRoC Winner will be selected by the BoJ and be awarded during a public final dissemination event at the EC site (12/2017).