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Marta Portales

TOP European robotics startups at GREX 2020

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During the next 20th and 21st of October, the main actors of innovation, Industry 4.0 and robotics, will meet in a 100% digital scenario where RobotUnion will have a special role as a PLATINIUM sponsor.

With the purpose of continuing to drive the growth of the ecosystem among the main representatives of the innovation market and promote initiatives such as GREX 2020, RobotUnion announces its participation as one of the sponsors in the world’s most important virtual fair on robotics, technological innovations, and Artificial Intelligence.

RobotUnion is the first European acceleration programme focused on the field of robotics. During 3 years, the project financed within the European framework Horizon 2020, has reached admirable achievements and has become an example of acceleration specialized in robotics for the technological innovations that enter the market.

In the framework of GR-EX, the project will share its results and experience in the session that will take place on October 20th at 15:00. 00h – 15:45h CEST.

Izabela Zrazinska, coordinator of the project from Fundingbox, will present the project and the main achievements of the accelerated companies; Emily Carroll, Head of Public Innovation Programs at ISDI Accelerator, will present the methodology used within the program for the orientation in business management; and Francisco Luque Cañones, Innovation Manager at the Innovation Center of Intelligent Structures (CI3), will discuss the main challenges about the collaboration process between corporations and start-ups to bring innovative products to the market.

In addition, seven of the companies that received support from the RobotUnion program will be present at the fair presenting their solutions. These TOP European RobotUnion companies were invited to speak to the public during the pitch session organised for the 20th of October at 16:00 CEST.

“We are very proud to share the results and to present the companies supported by RobotUnion in the reference fair for Industry 4.0 and that more reflects the real advances in R&D”, comments Izabela Zrazinska, Coordinator of the RobotUnion project, while she points out that “this year the fair has a special value linked to the need to continue to be present in the development of the sector, albeit virtually, something that, paradoxically, I am sure will generate an even more immersive environment”.

About Global Robot Expo 2020

GR-EX (Global Robot Expo) is an international B2B exhibition on innovation, robotics, and related technologies, held annually at IFEMA, Madrid (Spain). The multi-sectorial essence of GR-EX makes it unique and allows the creation of synergies between professionals who do not coincide in sectorial events. GR-EX shows the latest advances in artificial intelligence, industry, service robotics, logistics, drones, and aerospace technologies, among other sectors.

PODCAST: THE STORY BEHIND YOUR NEW ROBOT COLLEAGUE

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Post by MADE

In the first episode of the podcast series “My Robot Friend” (Min Robotven), we talk about the collaborative robot, it’s origin, and development. Moreover, we visit the robot startup Smooth Robotics to talk about their innovation – a software program for collaborative welding robots.

What is a collaborative robot, how was it developed, and which trend is it a part of?

We find the answers together with the following three experts: The inventor of the collaborative robot Esben Østergaard, Professor in Robotics Henrik Gordon Petersen, and Technology Manager at Center for Robot Technology at the Danish Technological Institute, Søren Peter Johansen.

A World of Innovation

Furthermore, we are taking a closer look into what kind of innovations the collaborative robot has started in advanced production. Among them is the robot startup Smoth Robotics which has invented the welding software “Smooth Tool”. In the podcast you can hear the director of Smooth Robotics, Erik Mønster, explain how the welding software for collaborative robots works and how it creates value in practice. 

“We have visited companies where the topics are so complex that they spend several days: 3-4-5 days to make the setting of a complex welding robot. We have seen that you can reduce this by 70-80%,” says Erik Mønster

Do not miss the next episode of “My Robot Friend” in which we focus on the future of collaborative robots. The episode will be published on Made.dk, iTunes and Spotify September 2020.

Participants:

  • Esben Østergaard, Co-founder of Lifeline Robotics (2020), founder of Universal Robots (2005), PhD in Robotics and AI.
  • Henrik Gordon Petersen, Professor in Robotics at University of Southern Denmark.
  • Søren Peter Johansen, professional manager of Center for Robotics at Danish Technological Institute.
  • Erik Mønster, CEO at Smooth Robotics.
  • Julie Lykke-Nedergaaard, Host.

Music:

  • Jingle soundtrack: “Princess” af Ramzoid
  • Backgroundmusic: “Trip Trap” by Morten Peetz Andersen

Smart Specialization in Robotics session at EU Week of Regions and Cities

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Most developing regions struggle to find innovation instruments that enhance the so-called “entrepreneurial discovery process” behind the Smart Specialisation, a concept in Robotics. RobotUnion consortium believes that the processes and methodologies used within the project at the pan-European level can generate a spillover effect for European regions too, leveraging from the ‘European Structural and Investment Funds’. 

For this reason, RobotUnion partners have decided to share their experience during the European Week of Regions and Cities and organize a Q&A:  

Regional smart specialization: Robotics” under the “Cohesion and Cooperation” topic that will take place on the 13th of October 2020 from 16:00-17:00.  

During the workshop FundingBox, Mobile World Capital Barcelona, Invest in Odense, and MADE will share insights on how to: 1)boost the regional investment strategy by including the smart specialization in Robotics, and 2)implement it together with the participation of SMEs (through Open Calls) and DIHs concepts. The methodology is based on the market adoption of the RobotUnion project as a possible innovation instrument both for ‘Smart Specialisation Strategies’ and Traditional Accelerators.  

On top of that, two RobotUnion consortium members, with strong involvement in regional strategies, will share their experience: 

Izabela Zrazińska, Project Manager at RobotUnion and Jakub Kruszelnicki, Technology Transfer Expert from FundingBox; a community with over 16.500 subscribers where makers, entrepreneurs, and innovators meet, interact and collaborate to build growth connections and win equity-free funding to catalyse their growth. 

Martyna Waliszewska, Junior Investment Manager at Invest in Odense; which is involved with RobotUnion on a project where they embraced and prioritized robotics as an investment and important development in a region. To spread the importance of the matter, they created a robotics cluster, Odense Robotics. She will share with us the success story.

Merete Nørby, International Senior Consultant at MADE; which is a Industry 4.0 landmark (recognized by the EC), a national initiative, and a pioneering Digital Innovation Hub. Their leading position in the industry, will allow them to adopt the program, supported by European Regions, under their Smart Specialization Strategies. 

At the end of the session, there will be an interactive Q&A with the public, which will be moderated by Marta Portalés (from Mobile World Capital Barcelona).

HOW TO REGISTER for the session? 

  1. To register for the sessions of the event, you need to sign in with your EU Login or create an account. 
  2. Enter the link:https://europa.eu/regions-and-cities/programme/sessions/1368_en  
  3. Click “Add session“.  

About the European Week of Regions and Cities: 

The European Week of Regions and Cities is an annual four-day event in which cities and regions exhibit their capability to: grow and create jobs, implement European Union cohesion policy, and prove the importance of good European governance at the local and regional level.

On this year, the event will spread over three consecutive weeks in October, each week will be dedicated to one timely topic:

·     5-9 October: Empowering Citizens, 

·     12-16 October: Cohesion and cooperation, 

·     19-22 October: Green Europe, in cooperation with the Green Week. 

Due to COVID-19 health and safety measures, most of the 500 sessions will be held digitally. However, key events and workshops that require interpretation, will take place on a hybrid format (online and limited physical presence). Events like – exhibitions and regional tastings, can be attended digitally or physically

See the full programme here.

Over 800m EUR invested in Odense-based robotics cluster!

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Our RobotUnion partner Odense Invest has just published the report

The investment landscape around the Odense’s ecosystem has been growing exponentially since 2015, at the beginning of 2020 surpassing the 800m EUR. With a vibrant community gathered around the local robotics cluster, we have registered over 130 active VC investors, 85 investors in robotics and almost 100 corporates.

When going a little bit more in detail, the data showcases an interesting phenomenon – exit capital is being reinvested in the local ecosystem. All those insights and more and now available at your fingertips! We have always been putting our best efforts to keep up with the new developments surrounding local robotics startups and SMEs. Now, the time has come to launch our first attempt to provide even more detailed picture of what has been so successfully happening on the island of Fyn. As of the 20th of August, our business intelligence platform is officially live and available at osav.dk. On top of that, we proudly present you with ‘The State of the Robotics Investment Landscape’ – a report, which marks the beginning of the platform.

Download the report ‘The State of the Robotics Investment Landscape’ here & access the platform: https://www.odenseseedandventure.dk/

If you are a robotics startup, don’t miss the chance to apply to the Odense Investor Summit!

Read More

How to accelerate robotics companies? We explained everything at ICRA 2020!

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On 10 June, the successful live session was organised by Fundingbox together with ISDI, BLUMORPHO, Mobile World Capital Barcelona and KEWAZO in the frame of the 2020 edition of the International Conference on Robotics and Automation.

Project partners shared the success recipe of the RobotUnion acceleration programme in front of an audience of 372 viewers from 38 countries.

To begin with, some keys figures related to the first startup batch (10 companies) that finished the programme:

  • More than €8 million of private investment raised during the acceleration.
  • RobotUnion startup teams nearly doubled their workforce in a year.
  • Their revenue increased by more than 60% in the same lapse of time.
  • The Technology Readiness Level* of all companies grew by 3 extra levels on average!

So what were the main ingredients of the RobotUnion acceleration recipe?

The presentation included an introduction and results for all the main aspects of the programme (technical mentoring, business support, fundraising strategy), the various RobotUnion partners – Izabela Zrazinska (FundingBox, the coordinator), Xianshu Zeng (ISDI), Régis Hamelin (Blumorpho) – as well as Ekaterina Grib from Kewazo, a construction startup accelerated by RobotUnion, expanded on their main learnings.

Presentation made during ICRA 2020

Regarding for instance technical mentoring, several crucial aspects were underlined:

  • It was highly beneficial to startups to externalise basic technical services that would help them save time and eventually deliver high-quality products with the help of specialised providers.
  • Guidelines relative to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) should be prepared in advance especially since hardware products, obviously including robotics, are not as easily protected compared to software products.

Business support managed by ISDI appeared to be very important to startups (9.5/10 satisfaction rate!). The Master Training Camp in Madrid allowed them to refine their internationalisation ambitions. Does it make sense to establish oneself in a country where the cost of entry and market culture are different? Many questions in addition to this one were dealt with during that week. Another very useful and maybe less visible advantage was tapping in the mentors’ networks. Their knowledge of the robotics market came handy for startups to make their business development strategy more concrete.

Finally, the classes on fundraising led by Blumorpho enabled accelerated companies to sweep away many common preconceptions related to access to investment, a generally fundamental step to go from startup to scaleup. By way of illustration, thinking that investors do not understand technologies, or that your product will just sell by itself is often at odds with reality.

With an overall impression of the programme reaching the excellent score of 8,75 out of 10, the RobotUnion recipe has proved to be effective! Check out the summary of the first startup batch’s story to know more:

*TRL, a standard scale to evaluate the maturity of a technology

Aether Biomedical raises seed round to make bionics accessible to all

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Poznan, Poland – Medical robotics company, Aether Biomedical, has raised a seed round of EUR 750,000 from Sunfish Partners, Chiratae Ventures India, and Joyance Partners. Aether Biomedical’s goal is to build data driven rehabilitation robotics devices starting with bionic limbs.

“The investment will help the company launch its first flagship product Zeus, a bionic limb for upper limb amputees, onto the market. We had a very specific goal in mind while building Zeus – Reduce the price without compromising on the efficiency. To do so we have heavily relied on advancements in additive manufacturing, signal processing, as well as machine learning and continue to do so in the development of future products. ” Says Dhruv Agrawal, CEO of Aether Biomedical.

Specifically, Zeus is a multi-action bionic aiming at improving the accessibility of bionic products to the amputee population. Zeus provides more than 150N of grip force, one of the highest on the market, combined with a smooth, elegant design, while being 30 – 40% more affordable than competitors. One of the key features that Aether Biomedical has focused on while building Zeus is robustness. Zeus has an innovative impact resistance mechanism protecting against daily life stresses, and has a static holding capacity of 35 Kgs on its fingers (Like carrying a bag).

“We want Zeus to be acting as a support system for amputees, spending minimal time in the repair and servicing. What makes Zeus unique is the modular structure, allowing for repair at a local service center level.” Says Dr Faith Jiwakhan, CTO of Aether Biomedical.

“Over 10 million people in the world are reported to be living with upper limb amputations. Aether aims to address this large market globally, and the ever-rising amputee population. The robotics prosthetic market is to witness significant innovation and product need from around the world. The unique features of the product which make it state of the art design and accessible have the potential to create life changing and hence life-enabling solutions for a number of people, especially in emerging economies.” Sudhir Sethi, Founder and Chairman, Chiratae Ventures India.

Aether Biomedical has conducted extensive internal testing for Zeus and is moving ahead with the completion of the medical certification process and launch of the product. The first geographies covered will be Europe and India. Zeus V1 is only the beginning. Aether Biomedical plans to strongly expand its R&D operations and the development of its core IP in biosignal processing aimed towards data driven rehabilitation. Aether Biomedical has already started shipping the demo kits to prosthetic centers for demonstration to patients..

“Data-driven rehabilitation has the potential to make life better for millions of people, and Aether Biomedical has a real shot to help us get there. What got us interested in the team was its bold vision; what made us invest was its relentless drive, day in and out, to make this vision a reality.” says Dr. Marcus Erken, Partner, Sunfish partners.  

Aether Biomedical was founded by Dhruv Agrawal and Dr. Faith Jiwakhan and has grown to 12 employees. Initially started in India, Aether Biomedical was invited to be a part of the Poland prize program, organized by Brinc and PARP in 2018. The company chose to stay in Poland and raised its pre seed round from Shape VC and subsequently became a part of the Robotunion program and was awarded a grant as one of the most promising robotics startups in Europe.

Maciej Frankowicz, Partner @ Shape.vc says “It takes a lot of courage to move to a foreign continent to start a business, especially if you’re in your early 20-ties. I am very happy that from all the available options the founders have chosen Poland for starting the company.”

Aether Biomedical has also received the Fasttrack accessibility plus grant from the National Center of Research and Development, Poland (NCBR). The grant funding is being utilized for continuing the development of Zeus hand by adding even more advanced features and developing accessory products such as wrist rotation unit and powered elbow system.

“We are thrilled to support Aether Biomedical in their groundbreaking work in rehabilitation robotics,” said Joyance Partners’ Managing Director Paolo Pio. “Dhruv assembled a great team, and they have a huge potential to empower amputees worldwide to live fuller, happier lives.”

Aether was advised by Jedrzej Szymczyk and his team from LLW for the successful completion of this transaction.

See Zeus in action in the below clip –

About Aether Biomedical –

Aether Biomedical is a medical robotics startup with its focus on building bionic limbs for upper limb amputees. Aether Biomedical’s product Zeus is a low cost – high efficacy multi action bionic limb for upper limb amputees.

About Sunfish Partners –

Sunfish Partners is an early stage VC that invests in Polish deep tech startups. Sunfish Partners has offices in Warsaw and Berlin. To learn more, go to www.sunfish.vc and follow them on Twitter @sunfishpartners.

About Chiratae Ventures India –

Launched in 2006, Chiratae Ventures India Advisors (formerly IDG Ventures India) is India’s leading technology Venture Capital funds advisor. The funds advised by Chiratae Ventures India Advisors collectively have over $700 M under management and 80+ investee companies across Consumer Media & Tech, Cloud/Software, Health-tech and Fin-tech. Notable portfolio companies include Bounce, Curefit, FirstCry, Flipkart, Forus, Lenskart, Manthan, Myntra (acquired by Flipkart), NestAway, Newgen (NSE: NEWGEN), PolicyBazaar, Rentomojo, Unbxd and Yatra (NASDAQ: YTRA) among others.

About Joyance Partners –

Joyance Partners is a $20M venture capital partnership that invests in companies with the capacity to deliver, or contribute to the delivery of, Delightful Moments.

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