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Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) often shy away from taking concrete steps toward their digital transformation. This was the finding of an analysis conducted by consulting firm IW Consult in spring 2018. TEWISS GmbH , an affiliate of the University of Hanover, therefore now plans to purchase a cobot system . The Hanover Region is providing €160,000 to help fund this purchase. Local SMEs will be able to hire the mobile system for four weeks, to test it out in an example application scenario.

The aim is to “give [small businesses] a low-threshold opportunity to discover the possibilities of robotics and make themselves competitive,” says Ulf-Birger Franz, Head of Economics for the Hanover Region, of the concept. The hire concept should help SMEs assess the potential of cobots for their specific production activities. The results of the test period will be evaluated, including the level of system efficiency. The Hanover Region plans to then present the participating companies’ experiences to a larger group of interested companies.