Active Research Grants

EPSRC UK Robotics and AI Hub for Offshore Energy Asset Integrity Management

Total: £36M, EPSRC: £14.6M, October 2017 - April 2021

The ORCA Hub is an ambitious initiative that brings together internationally leading experts from 5 UK universities with over 30 industry partners. Led by the Edinburgh Centre of Robotics (Heriot-Watt University and University of Edinburgh), in collaboration with Imperial College, Oxford and Liverpool Universities, this multi-disciplinary consortium brings its unique expertise in: Subsea, Ground and Aerial robotics; as well as human-machine interaction, innovative sensors for Non Destructive Evaluation and low-cost sensor networks; and asset management and certification.

The Hub will provide game-changing, remote solutions using robotics and AI that are readily integratable with existing and future assets and sensors, and that can operate and interact safely in autonomous or semi-autonomous modes in complex and cluttered environments. We will develop robotics solutions enabling accurate mapping of, navigation around and interaction with offshore assets that support the deployment of sensors networks for asset monitoring. Human-machine systems will be able to co-operate with remotely located human operators through an intelligent interface that manages the cognitive load of users in these complex, high-risk situations. Robots and sensors will be integrated into a broad asset integrity information and planning platform that supports self-certification of the assets and robots.

EU H2020 EUMarineRobots: Marine robotics research infrastructure network

EU: €4,998,736.75, March 2018 - February 2021

EUMarineRobots (EUMR) proposes an access-infrastructure for the deployment of a full-range of aerial, surface and sub-surface marine robotic assets, the combined value of which is far greater than the sum of their parts. EUMR will open transnational access to significant national marine robotics R&D assets across Europe. The EUMR consortium comprises 15 partners from 10 countries who, collectively, can deploy a comprehensive portfolio of marine robotic assets with required associated support assets and expertise. The network is a strong and balanced grouping of globally distinguished key players with diverse, track-record of excellence across marine / robotic sectors. Partners are members of a wide variety of existing networks, and research infrastructure collaborations both formal and informal across Europe and the world. EUMR is a first stage in aggregating these networks and assets as world-leading for support and growth of a strong community of practice in marine robotics and marine.

EU H2020 STRONGMAR: STRengthening MARritime Technology Research Center

EU: €999,203.75, January 2016 - December 2018

INEST TEC is strongly committed to become a center of excellence in maritime technology and, in particular, deep sea technology. It is strategically located, with fast access to deep sea, it has been steadily building up its skills, capabilities and resources, and is presently in the process of implementing an open research infrastructure, thus preparing itself to become capable of providing services and open access to the European academic and industrial communities and, thus, become a recognized European maritime research asset.

This proposal thus aims at creating solid and productive links in the global field of marine science and technology between INESC TEC and established leading research European institutions, capable of enhancing the scientific and technological capacity of INESC TEC and linked institutions (as well as the capacity of partnering institutions involved in the twinning action), helping raising its staff’s research profile and its recognition as an European maritime research center of excellence. These objectives will be fulfilled through a set of measures: summer schools; winter schools; short-term scientific meetings; Long-term Staff visits; Networking meetings; Workshops; Conferences; technology transfer workshops with stakeholders; and other dissemination activities. Therefore this proposal addresses the challenges raised in the call H2020-TWINN-2015. In particular, it takes INESC TEC, a top level Portuguese institution, and places it as the pivot of a network of excellence, involving four European Partners which are international leaders in deep sea technology. By tackling the call challenge with the specific topic of deep sea technologies, STRONGMAR is aligned with several National and European priorities (“The Portuguese Strategy for Smart Specialisation” (2014); Portuguese “National Ocean Strategy” (2013); EU Commission’s Atlantic Strategy (2011), etc.) establishing a consolidation path of INESC TEC's strategy in these areas.

Past Research Grants