Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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Call for applications for the 6th Robot Award

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is striving to further develop the robot industry to become a key industry in the future. As part of this effort, METI will present the 6th Robot Award to recognize robots that excel in terms of their contribution to or potential for future market development. The program aims to foster innovation in robotics technology, expand the application of robotics technology, and stimulate demand for such technology.

1. Outline

METI is striving to develop the robot industry, aiming to become a key industry in the future. As part of this effort, METI has been conducting the Robot Award program in cooperation with the Japan Machinery Federation (JMF) since FY2006 to select robots that excel in terms of their contribution to or potential for future market development and to present them with the Economy, Trade and Industry Minister's Award.

2. Application and selection procedures

(1) Eligibility

A robot is defined as an intelligent mechanical system that incorporates three technological elements: sensing, intelligence and control, and drive. The Award targets all robots, as well as their parts, materials and software, developed, used or operated in Japan in the last three years or so, or those expected to be utilized in the near future, for which the members of the judging committee have sufficient opportunity to make evaluations.

[i] Service Robot category

Robots and systems designed for service in offices, homes and public facilities

[ii] Industrial Robot category

Robots and systems designed to take part in processes in the manufacturing field, such as factories

[iii] Public and Frontier Robot category

Robots and systems designed to work for special purposes, such as survivor search and recovery operations at disaster sites, and space and deep-sea exploration

[iv] Parts and Software category

Parts, materials and software that constitute part of a robot as defined under this award system

[v] Robot Business and Social Implementation category

Manufacturers, business operators, and system integrators that successfully introduce and utilize robots

(2) How to apply

First make an entry via the official website (http://www.robotaward.jp (in Japanese)), then download and fill out an application form and submit it by post together with reference materials including a video that shows the movement of the robot. For more information, please read the application procedure posted on the official website.

Applications are accepted from Friday, May 23 to Thursday, July 31 (applications must be received by July 31).

(3) Selection

A judging committee consisting of experts evaluates the applications from the viewpoint of their contribution to and potential for future market development. The selection criteria consist of aspects such as (a) social needs, (b) value from the user’s point of view, and (c) technological innovativeness.

The committee first conducts documentary examination, based on the application forms and videos submitted, to select about ten candidates for the Award of Excellence. In the final screening, the winners of the 6th Robot Award, the Best SME Venture Prize, and the Japan Machinery Federation President Award are determined, based on a technical evaluation separately performed by technical advisors and presentations by applicants (developers, etc.).

(4) Award presentation and exhibition

Among the winners of the Award of Excellence, the 6th Robot Award (Economy, Trade and Industry Minister’s Award) will be granted to the most outstanding winner, while in the small and medium enterprise (SMEs) and venture companies category,* the Best SME Venture Prize (Small and Medium Enterprise Agency Director-General Award) will be granted to the most outstanding SME for its development of excellent technology that makes use of a flexible idea, a character unique to SMEs. In addition, the Japan Machinery Federation President Award will also be presented to one of the winners.

Robots that are recognized for the Award of Excellence will be on public display and their demonstrations will be held at Tokyo Big Site, where the award ceremony will take place.

*Note: These SMEs refer to those stipulated under Article 2, paragraph (1) of the Small and Medium Enterprise Basic Act, excluding subsidiaries of large companies.

Contact office of the 6th Robot Award
Secretariat of the award:
Telephone: 03-5644-7298
E-mail: info@robotaward.jp
Official website: http://www.robotaward.jpExternal Site Link (in Japanese)

3. Future Schedule

May 23 (Fri.): Commencement of application
July 31 (Thur.): Closure of application (application must be received by this day)
Early to mid October: Announcement of the 6th Robot Award winner and other award winners
October 15 (Wed.): Award ceremony and joint exhibition (the exhibition will be held from October 15 to 17)

Release Date

May 23, 2014

Division in Charge

Robot Industry Office, Manufacturing Industries Bureau

Related Information

Robot Industry
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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