RAS E-News February 2008

Volume 6, Number 2

Welcome to RASeNews, the IEEE RAS email newsletter. RASeNews is limited to short announcements of RAS Conferences, RAS society 'action items', breaking news, and time-sensitive issues. Send comments, queries and news items to r.g.snyder@ieee.org.

Important Deadlines for RAS members


  • March 1, 2008: RAS 2008 Society Awards Nominations. This deadline applies to: Early Career, Pioneer, Distinguished Service, Saridis Leadership, Chapter of the Year, See http://www.ieee-ras.org/member/awardsRAS.php. Submissions: Send nominations to Rosalyn Snyder r.g.snyder@ieee.org
  • March 1, 2008: IEEE 2009 Fellow Nominations See http://www.ieee-org/fellows for online instructions or to download Fellow nomination kits. Submissions: Online or by fax or mail to IEEE, but forms MUST be received by deadline.
  • April 4, 2008: IEEE/IFR Invention & Entrepreneurship Award for Outstanding Achievements in Commercializing Innovative Robot and Automation Technology. http://www.ieee-ras.org/industrial Submissions: Send nominations/ applications to Klas Nilsson, klas@ieee.org


See the RAS conference calendar for details: www.ieee-ras.org/calendar/calendartech.php. Check the conference webpages for submission instructions and possible extensions.

1. March 1 deadline for RAS Society and IEEE Fellow Nominations

March 1 is the deadline for IEEE Society Awards. Any RAS member may submit a nomination. The criteria differ for the different awards, so please refer to the Awards webpage for award descriptions, lists of previous recipient, and nomination instructions. Please use the appropriate nomination form for the nomination and include the reference letters required for some nominations. Send the package via email to the RAS Administrator r.g.snyder@ieee.org.

March 1 is also the deadline for nominations for IEEE Fellow, the highest grade of IEEE membership.

IEEE Fellow applications must be submitted online. See http://www.ieee.org/fellows for nomination information.

2. RAS 2008 New Initiative Proposals Due Friday February 15

In 2007 39 proposals were submitted for the RAS New Initiatives Projects, and ten were funded. A number have already been submitted for 2008, but time is running out. Proposals for 2008 RAS Initiative Grants must be received by the RAS Administrator by Friday, February 15. As a result of a new IEEE policy established in 2007, the Robotics and Automation Society anticipates being able to use some of its 2008 budget to fund a modest number of initiatives that would benefit society members in general. We expect a maximum of $60,000 to be available to support initiatives. We hope to be able to fund several initiatives in the range of $5000 to $24900. Members are invited to submit proposals for initiative to the RAS administrator Rosalyn Snyder r.g.snyder@ieee.org.

In accordance with our Business Plan, proposals will be reviewed by the following major Boards of the Society, which, except for EPSB, will be chaired by their respective vice presidents in 2008:

  • Conference Activities Board (CAB) VP: John Hollerbach
  • Industrial Activities Board (IAB) VP: Alex Zelinsky
  • Member Activities Board (MAB) VP: Alicia Casals
  • Publications Activities Board (PAB) VP: Peter Luh
  • Technical Activities Board (TAB) VP: Ken Goldberg
  • EPSB Chair (not formally a VP) Stefano Stramigioli.

Proposals must identify the Board(s) which most closely represent(s) the type of activity proposed. The Boards will prioritize the requests and send them to the Financial Activities Board, which will review them and forward them to the AdCom, which will make the ultimate funding decisions.


February 15, 2008 – Deadline for proposal submission
March 15, 2008 – Funding decisions disseminated
November 30, 2008 – Final report due
November 30, 2008 – Deadline for invoice

Submission of Proposals

Proposals must be submitted as an attached PDF with a two page limit. Proposals must include, in the following order:

  • Most relevant RAS Board (Membership, Industry, ...) for the proposal
  • Proposed Title of New Initiative
  • List of PIs with contact info
  • Short description of idea and impact on members
  • Short plan for sustainability beyond initial seed funding
  • Total funding requested in US Dollars
  • Sources of matching funds (if any)
  • Proposed use of funds
  • Proposed timeline for project (funds must be spent in time for invoices to reach the Society Treasurer by November 30, 2008!)
  • Short plan for administration of funds by proposers

Several issues to consider:

  • IEEE is a volunteer organization and funding cannot be used to pay members fees or salaries.
  • Funds must be processed through the PI’s institution
  • There can be no “upfront” funds. Invoices must be submitted after expenditure of funds.
  • Expenses incurred for which invoices are not received by November 30, 2008 will not be reimbursed.

All proposals and related questions should be directed to:
Rosalyn Graham Snyder
IEEE Robotics and Automation Society
T +1 919 851 3603
F + 1 919 882 9734<./p>

Evaluation of Proposals

Priorities on which proposals will be preferred for funding will be conducted according to the following criteria:

Essential characteristics

  • The proposed activity must benefit the RAS society as a whole or a substantial subset of its members
  • The proposed activity must not be for individual or group research projects
  • Proposed funding must be less than or equal to $24,900
  • Proposed funding must be greater than or equal to $5,000 (smaller items should work their way through the boards in their normal budget cycle)

High priority characteristics:

  • Those that that use innovative approaches to implement a strong vision for the future
  • Those that directly impact a large number of RAS members
  • Those that have high impact to cost ratio
  • Those with cost sharing
  • Those that seed self-sustaining activities
  • Those that leverage volunteer efforts
  • Those that provide travel or meeting support in a program area
  • Programs providing student support
  • Workshops in emerging areas
  • Potential to increase membership or involvement in RAS activities
  • Those that develop RAS activities in emerging regions or technical areas
  • Those providing service to the R&A community those that clearly identify one of the boards to administer, develop and evaluate the program.

    Low priority characteristics:

  • Those whose activities are of peripheral interest to society
  • Those that fund individuals
  • Those restricted to a geographic region, especially not an emerging region
  • Those that fund technical research
  • Those containing extensive funding of staff salaries
  • Long term activities
  • Those with low impact to cost ratio
  • Those particularly complex to execute

Other Issues:

  • RAS will support payment of full-time students (undergraduate, graduate, or postdoctoral) for services, provided satisfactory information regarding their tax status is received prior to award/contract.
  • RAS will only support full-time students for initiative work.
  • RAS will not pay for activities that are considered a normal activity associated with academic activities, e.g., preparing courses.
  • RAS's standard policy is to pay zero indirect/ overhead on any award/contract. Exceptions are expected to be rare and must be negotiated in advance before the award/contract is issued, preferably before the proposal is submitted.
  • Laptops, PC's, software, or cameras, may only be purchased if the work for the award/ contract specifically requires these items (the case for the purchase of these items must be made clearly in the proposal). At the conclusion of the initiative, such items shall be the property of RAS, which will determine the future utilization of the items.
  • IEEE/RAS retains all rights on intellectual property developed under RAS-funded projects.
  • Travel to technical conferences is considered part of normal activity and will not normally be covered by initiative funding.

The following must be included in/with the budgets of all proposals responding to RAS initiative competitions:

  • Total amount of compensation for services;
  • (Educational) status of all those to receive this compensation, and breakdown of compensation amounts for each such person;
  • Itemization of all supplies/equipment over $500 to be purchased with RAS funds;
  • If travel funding is requested, full details of the nature of each travel instance (location(s), duration of travel, purpose, estimated amount). Travel not specifically included in the proposal will not be reimbursed.

3. IEEE/IFR Invention and Entrepreneurship in Robotics and Automation Award

Applications for the Invention and Entrepreneurship Award in Robotics and Automation, which is jointly sponsored by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and the International Federation of Robotics are due April 4 2008.

The purpose of this award is to recognize the entrepreneurial commercialization of ideas into actual products. Nominations should cite and describe the original work that has been translated into commercial application as well as the commercial product and its success. The nomination must also describe the unique characteristics of the transformation into the commercialized product that justify the award. The current and future impact of the commercial product is a fundamental element of the merit for selection.

  • Prize: $2000 and plaque.
  • Funding: This award is co-sponsored by the IEEE and the IFR (International Federation of Robotics). Each organization will provide $1000 of the award each year.

Detailed application information is availabel online or as a PDF.

The award will be presented in Munich on June 11 in conjunction with IEEE/IFR Joint Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Robotics and Automation June 11, 2008 – 12:30-16:30 International Congress Centre Munich, Germany co-located with Robotik 2008 – Germany’s largest robotics conference – June 11-12, 2008 International Congress Centre Munich, Germany and Automatica 2008 – International Trade Fair for Automation – Assembly, Robotics, Vision – June 10-13, 2008 New Munich Trade Fair Centre, Germany

For additional information, contact Klas Nilsson, klas@ieee.org.



Easy Links