Safe bridges, clean water and punctual trains. There's a vast amount of tasks connected to inspection and maintenance, and it represents a large economic activity. The global market is estimated at 450 billion euro - spanning across multiple sectors such as energy, water supply, transport, civil engineering and so forth.
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 50 percent of all manufacturers of inspection and maintenance robots based in the EU.
Driving innovation in robotics for inspection and maintenance
The vision of the RIMA project is to reinforce the leadership of Europe in inspection and maintenance robotics by connecting technology to industrial/sectorial needs and foster efficient cross border cooperation in Europe.
Europe has a very rich technological offer, but there is a bottleneck connecting this to the market needs and high potential applications. Connecting Europe internationally and connecting the value chain (research, technology companies, service providers, end users and investors) will have big impact for accelerating economic growth in the field of inspection and maintenance robotics.
More importantly, this connection must rely on a framework for providing education and training on robotics inspection and maintenance so that a permanent acquisition of the market share can be achieved and innovation growth can be guaranteed in the years to come.
Establishing a pan-European network
RIMA is a four-year project aiming to achieve the above by establishing a network of 13 Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) on robotics and a large number of industry associations sharing best practices and providing services to facilitate step change in uptake of inspection and maintenance technologies.
The RIMA consortium consists of 16 leading research organizations from different European countries and seven organizations representing end users of different sectors.
Together with the RIMA partners, the Danish Technological Institute will offer the key services to achieve acceleration including support to testing and technology transfer, coaching and training on robotics for inspection and maintenance, identification of tracks to optimize processes and communication.
50 percent of RIMA's budget will be distributed to SMEs to run experiments.
The RIMA project is funded by the EU.