Inspection and Maintenance (I&M) represents a large economic activity – global market estimated at 450 Billion Euro – spanning across multiple sectors such as energy, oil&gas, water supply, transport, civil engineering and infrastructure.
Currently EU is a global leader in this rapidly growing field with more than half of all manufacturers of I&M robots based in Europe. EU hosts over 50% of I&M robotics offer but there is a bottleneck connecting it to the market and high potential applications.
RIMA (Robotics for Inspection and Maintenance) is a 4-year project aiming to tackle this gap by establishing a network of 13 Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) and industry associations to support the uptake of robotics – and help small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to develop novel solutions for different industry sectors.
RIMA is funded by European Union’s Horizon2020 initiative.
The RIMA network consists of 13 European Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) with a vast experience in the field of robotics. Our consortium is made up of Universities, Industry associations and research institutes.
RIMA connects and inspires key stakeholders in I&M robotics and aims to accelerate innovation and uptake of robotics between these stakeholders.
RIMA aspires to bring together the technology providers, service providers, asset owners and operators, together with Digital Innovation Hubs and Facilitators, to join forces and competences in accelerating robotics in I&M


RIMA supports financially and technically 50 cross-border experiments involving European Small and Medium-sized enterprises through 2 Open Call rounds (2019 / 2020) with a total amount of 8.1M€.
Successful candidates will receive equity-free funding for Technology transfer and development in I&M robotic applications.


RIMA aspires to bring together DIHs and Facilitators operating under a common network that allow them to join forces and competences in promoting I&M robotics. The facilitator organisations have the connections and network to reach a broad set of industries in their domains of expertise.
The Digital innovation hubs offer key acceleration services for companies. These DIHs are linked to organizations involved in research and innovation activities, and they offer expertise in robotics, equipment and services applicable for I&M operations.


The RIMA Digital Innovation Hubs provide skills and tools to implement the latest methods in knowledge transfer between academia and industry.
The RIMA training framework aims to increase digital skills and knowledge of robotics, especially within the I&M domain, amongst a wide range of people – from students starting out on their career path, through the current workforce who need to retrain, managers who need to understand the importance and effect of digitisation, and start-up technology development companies that need concrete information and support for getting their upcoming technology to market.

DIH network services

Ecosystem services
  • Community building: Connect companies and organizations throughout value-chains and across value chains, create awareness of possibilities with I&M robotics, facilitate participation in local ecosystem, connect with relevant industrial associations
  • Strategy development: Identify and evaluate the company's possibilities with I&M robotics, business modelling
  • Ecosystem learning: Seminars, workshops, conferences, trips, newsletters, etc. to increase the knowledge on aspects relevant for I&M robotics
  • Representation, promotion: Marketing support, promotion of robotics in I&M 

Technology services
  • Strategic RDI: Longer-term technical support within mechatronics, perception, control, etc. – i.e., since it is long term it is not so relevant for TTEs and not relevant at all for TDs
  • Contract research: Shorter-term technical support within mechatronics, perception, control
  • Technical support on scale-up: Prototyping and small-series production both to demonstrate a concept and develop prototypes as final steps towards commercial products
  • Provision of technology infrastructure: Equipment, test facilities
  • Testing and validation: Certifications, product qualifications, product demonstration

Business services
  • Incubator/accelerator support: IPR and patent management
  • Access to finance: Advice on available grants/calls, connect to venture capital
  • Skills and education: Provide courses/training, refer to courses/training
  • Project development: Establish projects, support on proposal writing
  • Offering housing: Offices to start-ups


DIH² is a network of 25 Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) covering nearly every country in the European Union. The network will further grow to nearly 200 DIHs with a target to cover every region of Europe.
The unique Italian Innovation Hub for Italy is the C.R.E.A.T.E. research consortium for energy, automation and technologies.
The DIHs in the network are centrally connected together through the Robotics and Automation MarketPlace. RAMP is a Business-to-Business (B2B) internet marketplace for the manufacturing SMEs. Through RAMP, manufacturing SMEs can access digital services, buy automation technologies, and purchase consultancy services on access to finance, cyber security, IP protection and legal issues.
To test services and to validate the transfer of technology on the RAMP, DIH² network is starting a Technology Transfer Program (TTP). 26 manufacturing SMEs and Technology Suppliers will be selected through 2 Open Call and supported to deploy automation solutions in their factory with:

  • Up to €248,000 in equity-free funding
  • full technical and business mentoring

CREATE will support applicants with different services:

  • Finding partners for the experiments
  • Evaluating the relevance of the proposal for the network
  • Supporting the SMEs in automation roadmap of their factory
  • Supporting the System integrators to scale their solution on RAMP platform