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Managing directors Thomas Rilke and Olaf Katzer laid the groundwork for the new project on Wednesday, 7 December, signing a contract in the presence of Hannover Mayor Stefan Schostok and Dr. Jochen Köckler, a member of the Deutsche Messe Managing Board. The Chinese guests were officially welcomed by Mayor Schostok. Upon its completion, the new Robotation Academy in Foshan will provide training for an annual total of 1,000 industrial representatives in the fields of robotics, automation and Industry 4.0.

For the last seven years, the Robotation Academy has been implementing its principle of teaming up with technology partners to stage courses and conferences and provide presentations on future technology trends – all from its headquarters at the Hannover Exhibition Center. "It is fantastic that we are now in the process of building an international network of technology academies," declared Thomas Rilke, Managing Director of the recently established umbrella organization, the Deutsche Messe Technology Academy (DMTAC). "The need to organize technology competence centers and provide advice and training on a year-round basis is an international phenomenon. In Foshan, our new Robotation Academy will be located at the heart of one of China's leading industrial hubs."

Counting some eight million inhabitants, Foshan is located in the Chinese province of Guangdong. The city is not only a key location for mechanical and plant engineering and robotics, but is also the home base of Midea, a company which has recently taken a majority stake in robot manufacturer Kuka. Midea is one of 18 technology partners who will be sending their staff members for training at the Foshan Robotation Academy. In addition, more than 10 local Chinese robot manufacturers have expressed an interest not only in taking an active part in the Robotation Academy in Foshan, but at Hannover as well.

DMATC is a joint initiative of Deutsche Messe and the Volkswagen as well as a wholly owned subsidiary of Deutsche Messe. In existence since 2009, the Robotation Academy has its headquarters in Pavilion 36 at the Hannover Exhibition Center. Currently the Robotation Academy in Hannover stages around 200 events every year, reaching some 3,000 participants from industry. Further DMATC academies are already in the process of being set up, focusing on topics like Smart Cities, Virtual/Augmented Reality and Additive Manufacturing, i.e. 3-D printing. DMATC also plays host to the German SME 4.0 Competence Center for Lower Saxony and Bremen ("Go Digital with Us"), which is located at the Robotation Academy in Hannover.

As the owner of HANNOVER MESSE, a series of worldwide automation tradeshows and the technology academy, Deutsche Messe is in a unique position to provide significant information offerings in the field of industrial robotics, automation and production engineering.