1. What is the objective of the EUROBENCH project?
The EUROBENCH project aims to create the first unified benchmarking framework for robotic systems in Europe. This framework will allow companies and/or researchers to test the performance of their robots at any stage of development. The project is mainly focused on bipedal machines, i.e. exoskeletons, prosthetics and humanoids, but aims to be also extended to other robotic technologies.
To do so, the EUROBENCH Consortium will count on the collaboration of external entities, a.k.a. Third Parties, offering them financial support for developing and validating specific sub-components of the Facilities and the Software. This Cascade Funding action, called “FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO THIRD PARTIES” (FSTP) will be organized in two competitive Open Calls: FSTP-1 and FSTP-2.
2. What is the difference between FSTP-1 and FSTP-2?
1st Open Call (FSTP-1) is also called “DEVELOPMENT of the benchmarking framework”. This Call is looking for Third Parties interested in designing and developing test beds, algorithms and datasets to allow the benchmarking bipedal platforms performance. This call will be open from July 15, 2018 until October 31, 2018.
2nd Open Call (FSTP-2) is also called “VALIDATION of the benchmarking framework”. This Call will offer Third Parties the opportunity to use the benchmarking facilities and/or software, at zero-costs, to test and improve their own robotic/control systems. This call will be open in 2020.
3. Who can apply to the Open Calls?
The entities eligible for receiving financial support are all the legal entities established in the Member States (MS) of the European Union, the overseas countries and Territories (OCT) linked to the Member States, the associated countries (AC) and all the countries included in the Section A of the H2020 Work Programme.
SMEs, large companies, universities, research centres, standardisation entities, certification bodies and health institutions are examples of the entities expected for these calls
- Participants can apply individually or as part of a Consortium.
- Consortia can include partners from the same country, as well as partners from different countries.
- Applicants must be previously registered in the Participant Register of the Participant Portal and have a 9-digit Participant Identification Code (PIC).
- Applicants can participate in more than one proposal (including both calls) according to budget limitations (100k€ per participant).
4. How can I prepare my proposal to apply for FSTP-1?
To prepare your project proposal, please use the templates available at the “Apply” section.
5. How can I submit my proposal?
The submission of proposals will be effected online through the online platform linked in the EUROBENCH website. Please check manuals and facsimiles available in the website for details.
On receipt of each proposal the proposer receives an electronic acknowledgment of receipt. Applicants can submit their proposal as many times as they wish prior to the call deadline, but it is strongly advised not to wait until the last few days to do so.
Late submissions will not be accepted; late submitters shall receive a “call closed” message in response to their submission. The proposals will be evaluated as submitted: after the close of call no additions or changes to received proposals shall be taken into account.
6. What type of support is available for preparing the proposal?
The ‘Guide for Applicants’ is the main reference document. It provides detailed information about the requirements of the evaluation and selection process. We also offer a helpline service to help you.
7. When is the deadline for my application submission?
The first Open Call under the EUROBENCH project will be open from July 15th 2018 and with deadline on October 31st 2018 at 17h00 CET. No applications will be accepted after this deadline.
8. Can I participate in more than 1 project proposal? Can I participate to both FSTP-1 and FSTP-2?
Yes and Yes! but with the following restriction: the total amount of contribution requested by a single Third Party cannot exceed 100k€. This means that you if are participating in proposal A with 60k€, you can ask for max 40k€ in proposal B. If you don’t respect this rule, one of the two proposals will be rejected (affecting all partners of that proposal!). Please take into account that the budget limitation affects both calls! E.g. if you have received 60k€ from FSTP-1, you can request a maximum of 40k€ from FSTP-2.
9. Can a partner participate to FSTP-1 alone?
Yes, Consortia can be composed by only one partner. In such case the maximum requested contribution for the project will be 100k€
10. In FSTP-1, can partners belong to only one country?
Yes. Consortia can include partners from the same country, as well as partners from different countries.
11. Can I propose several types of outcomes in the same proposal, e.g. a method + a database + a test bed?
As a general rule, yes. Anyway, please check the Guide for Applicants for detailed information on the call. If you want to receive feedback on your idea in advance, please fill the Declaration of Interest form available in the website, or write us directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
12. I am proposing only a theoretical method (e.g. a metric). Are experimental trials required?
Due to the strong practicality of the framework, experimental results are strongly encouraged. E.g., if you are proposing a new “symmetry” metric, you should provide experimental evidence that your method is able to assess this aspect on real bipedal systems (e.g. an amputee, or a humanoid, or a person wearing an exoskeleton).
13. I intend to develop a testbed composed of equipments that are commercially available. Is this possible?
Yes, if you demonstrate that the testbed includes new functions/functionalities that are not present in the commercial equipment.
14. IPR and Exploitation rights. How will they be managed?
The EUROBENCH consortium is not obliged to verify the authenticity of the ownership of the future products and services and any issues arising from third party claims regarding ownership are the solely responsibility of the sub-granted parties.
Access Rights to Results and Background Needed for the performance of the own work of a Party under the Project shall be granted on a royalty-free basis, unless otherwise agreed for Background in the Consortium Agreement.
Third parties will own the exclusive intellectual property of the results. However, they should allow the integration of the generated prototypes on royalty-free basis in the EUROBENCH Framework (facilities and/or software) for the subsequent validation during FSTP-2. The EUROBENCH consortium will study and define potential agreements with third parties whose testbenches prototypes will have been successfully validated, to ensure certification, further exploitation and sustainability of the EUROBENCH facilities and software.
15. What happen if my device or method is applicable to more scenarios?
In such case, please apply it to only one scenario. We can extend it to other scenarios after the end of the project.
If this is not possible, please select the “scenario-generic” (OPTION 2) category.
16. Can two departments from the same university participate to different projects? If yes, how does maximum contribution apply?
Yes they can, but if the departments or entities have the same PIC (Participant Identification Code), then the budget limitation (100k€ per participant) applies.
It is strongly recommended to inform the legal representative of your institution in advance, to avoid multiple submissions from different research groups belonging to the same legal entity.
17. Are there any budget limitations (total expenses of each project)?
There are no limitations regarding the total costs of the project. However, each proposal can request a maximum contribution of 300k€, which can cover up to 100% of the total budget ,and each participant can receive a maximum contribution of 100k€.
In addition, participants can submit more than one proposal and still no budget limitations apply, but the total required contribution of the same legal entity should not exceed 100k€ across all proposals submitted (i.e. it is not allowed to ask for 60k€ in one proposal and 50k€ in another proposal, because the sum is 110k€). This limitation is to avoid the situation in which one applicant is participating in two winning proposals, and one of the two should be rejected for budgetary limits.
It is strongly recommended to inform the legal representative of your institution in advance, to avoid multiple submissions from different research groups belonging to the same legal entity
18. What are the criteria for selecting the final beneficiaries?
Please check the Guide for Applicants. You’ll find all details included.
19. Do selected projects receive any money in advance?
Third parties will receive pre-financing of 60% of their respective total requested contribution.
20. When do the selected projects receive the funding?
60% in advance (estimated time: February 2019). After successful integration (estimated time: October 2020), Third Parties will be made eligible for receiving the remaining payment (40%) of the EUROBENCH fund. However, due to project funds retained by EC, Third Parties will only receive a 25%, reaching the 85% of the requested contribution (estimated time: September 2020). The final 15% of the sub-project funding will be released only after the EC transfers the final funding to the EUROBENCH consortium in May 2021.
21. Should the testbeds be physically available after sub-project ending?
All the outcomes developed by the applicants (hardware and/or software) will be integrated in the EUROBENCH framework for their evaluation during the execution of the 2nd call and for their use in after the project end. The EUROBENCH consortium will study and define potential agreements with Third Parties whose outcomes will have been successfully validated, to ensure further exploitation and sustainability as part of the EUROBENCH facilities and software. If the testbeds addresses both fields (i.e. Wearable Robots & Humanoids), two prototypes should be developed, to allow their integration in both the EUROBENCH Facilities.
22. Will the Wearable Robot facility be used only by healthy subjects?
Also by patients (mainly stroke, SCI, and amputees)
23. In the phase 2 “integration”, the staff of the participants (third parties) have to move for a while during the 6 months of the project to the facility (in Italy or Spain depending of the robot), or it is not necessary? Are this costs included in the grant?
Third parties will only need to go to the facility 1-2 weeks (even less) depending on the complexity of the system. We suggest to go as soon as possible (e.g. the first month) so that there will be enough time to solve any unexpected problem that may arise during the integration. For instance, if some part brakes, there will be time to go back to the lab, fix it and come again to test. The same applies for software components. This period is part of the project, so third parties have to allocate resources to it (e.g. 6 person-months).
24. When applying to develop a benchmarking solution that can be used across several scenarios (OPTION 2),should the same common requirements of testbeds than in OPTION 1 be considered?
The requirements are always valid. And they are recommended to be accomplish always that it’s possible. Don’t forget that the requirement are “suggestions”. IF you have any doubt you can contact the helpline service