ZIM Innovation Network


Unmanned Systems for Autonomous Inspection


An article about USAI in "Drones" magazine

Read now the article about the USAI network which found its place in the new issue of the magazine "Drones": 

great  new  years  news!

We start the new year 2022 in the USAI network directly with good news! The international network USAI is entering the second round!

The 2nd phase of the network was approved by the ZIM project management organisation VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH retroactively to September 2021 with a duration of three years until the end of August 2024. We look forward to further cooperation with our network partners and to exciting projects in the coming years!

If you are interested in our network or would like to participate, please contact Melissa Körner without obligation for an initial exchange. (melissa.koerner@eura-ag.de or +49 4662 61477-62). For further contact details please click here.


In the context of ever-increasing demands for autonomous driving, technological and data technology solutions are currently being developed, which also influence the development of fully autonomous (inspection) systems for control in a wide range of areas. Sensor technology, machine learning and robotics form the basis of this digital transformation. These systems and components for the application of such systems are becoming more and more affordable and are available in an ever-increasing range. The introduction of autonomous systems has started with IT-based systems, which are becoming increasingly important in our everyday life. It is therefore time to intensively deal with the developments, the possibilities and the effects of autonomous systems.


Many experts agree at this stage that the use of autonomous systems will be tantamount to a technical evolution due to its disruptive potential. The associated change will not only take place on the road, but autonomous systems in the form of robots, intelligent software systems or in production will also be found in many other areas. Due to their special characteristics, these systems will bring about fundamental changes for the economy and society. They can help to better adapt production processes, mobility and logistics systems to human needs and to make them more flexible and resource-saving. The central characteristic of autonomous systems is the ability to perform tasks independently and adapted to the situation without human intervention. Already today, automated systems in the fields of computer vision, robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, optimization, control, validation and safety, sensors or material sciences have progressed with different degrees of autonomy. 


The international ZIM network is intended to assist in the realisation of technologies and products for applications of autonomous systems in higher Technology Readiness Level (TRL) in air and the maritime technology.


At present, individual products, especially from the Asian region, are available on the market and are therefore used by the companies. The network is therefore aimed at highly specialised small and medium-sized enterprises from the European region, which are active as developers and manufacturers of sensor technology, robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence etc.


Therefore, it will be of enormous importance in the future to develop new technical systems and components which represent tailor-made solutions for corresponding applications, but at the same time offer the possibility of transferability/scalability into other applications in order to achieve the greatest possible economic success.


In order to achieve this economic success in a sustainable and long-term manner, it is absolutely necessary to bring together specialists from the various fields of activity, developers of the required technologies and users to develop innovative solutions. Therefore only an intensive exchange between the partners involved can ensure that the required systems and components are really suitable for application. Legal, certification-relevant and insurance-related specifications and framework conditions (of particular importance and must already be taken into account in the R&D projects) are also of particular importance.


In the network "Unmanned Systems for Autonomous Inspection", the development of autonomous systems in higher Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) in the air and in the maritime technology is to be initiated in cooperation between companies with competencies in the fields of robotics, artificial intelligence, sensor technology, machine learning and in the field of computer vision and research institutes as scientific partners. Research priorities are to be set or tackled which, in terms of innovation content and solution approach, go far beyond the existing activities in the market.


The network is aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises and research institutions for which, within the network, new products and services are to be developed in the following areas of autonomous inspection:

  •  Development of new technical components and systems for fully automatic and autonomous functions in air and the maritime 
     technology and further technical functions for the operation of flight and maritime systems
  •  Development of new energy supply systems adapted to the requirements of autonomous systems
  •  Development of new communication and control systems adapted to the environmental influences in the operating environment

Through the planned R&D projects and other activities within the network, such as the organisation of user workshops, participation in trade fairs, congresses and events, know-how is generated among the network participants, through which market-effective competitive advantages over competitors are achieved.



Our network partners are small and medium-sized companies and research institutions from all over the world.



Joining forces in a cooperation network brings numerous advantages for your company. You can also find out here which services the network management takes over for you.

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