New BMBF Initiative Supports Establishment of Robotics Network in Germany with €20 Million.

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF – Federal Ministry of Education and Research) has launched a new funding initiative to support the strategic collaboration of leading robotics research centres in Germany. The new ‘Robotics Institute Germany’ (RIG) is designed to strengthen networking while also promoting the career development of junior researchers in the field.

Funding is provided for the gradual development of a decentralised cooperation network – known as ‘Robotics Institute Germany’ (RIG) – that consolidates cutting-edge research on robotics in Germany and advances the acquisition of talent through concerted measures. RIG is designed to take on key responsibilities for the further strategic development of the research area in Germany and will contribute to tasks such as the development of a research roadmap and the establishment of access concepts for research and training infrastructures. It will also address ethical, legal and social aspects, and take on responsibilities in the area of science communication and participatory formats. As part of the initiative, BMBF will also fund novel training measures and acquisitions to support the development of necessary infrastructures such as joint data platforms, test environments, training data or standardised tests and benchmarks. 

Funding is provided for consortia consisting of institutions of higher education and non-educational research institutions in Germany. Participating organisations must have proven expertise in the area of robotics.

BMBF will support RIG with an overall budget of €20 million over a period of four years.

The scheme comprises a two-stage application process. As a first step, applicant consortia submit an outline proposal. This is then followed by the submission of a full, formal funding application if the project is shortlisted.

The deadline for the submission of proposals is 15 January 2024.

(This report was the subject of a ResearchConnect news alert.)