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Hannover, Germany. Based in the town of Espelkamp, Germany, the Harting IT Software company has been announced as the recipient of this year’s HERMES AWARD – one of the world’s most prestigious industrial innovation prizes. The award was presented on 24 April at the HANNOVER MESSE Opening Ceremony. "Since 1947 Harting has been an exhibitor at HANNOVER MESSE and over the intervening decades has evolved from being a pure hardware manufacturer to becoming a software-driven technology provider. The award-winning MICA product represents a key contribution to the keynote theme for this year’s HANNOVER MESSE, and will make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises to enter the world of Industry 4.0," stated Dr. Jochen Köckler, member of Deutsche Messe’s Managing Board.

Harting received the award for its MICA product – an open and modular platform consisting of embedded hardware and software which serves as a central component in the Industry 4.0 environment. Thanks to its innovative combination of established Linux technologies, the product allows users to virtualize field devices and add their own customizable hardware components that communicate via USB. MICA can be operated using Power over Ethernet. Each MICA unit contains a TPM chip and supports both SSL and VPN, thus allowing secure authentication and communication between the various MICA modules. Chaired by Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster, director of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the jury was impressed by the concept of lightweight virtualization using Linux-based containers which MICA implements on compact field devices. MICA makes it possible to add intelligence to existing machines and equipment.

"By installing numerous integrated MICA modules, which essentially represent the nervous system of a digitized factory, an existing plant can be gradually migrated over to Industry 4.0, shortening the time needed for product changeovers along the way," commented Wahlster.

The award was presented at the HANNOVER MESSE Opening Ceremony on 24 April by the German Federal Minister for Education and Research, Dr. Johanna Wanka.

The other companies nominated for the HERMES AWARD were: BLOCK Transformatoren-Elektronik GmbH (Verden, Germany), DDM Systems (Atlanta, Georgia, USA), ITM Power (South Yorkshire, United Kingdom), and J. Schmalz GmbH (Glatten, Germany). The products and processes on offer by the five nominees will be displayed at their respective stands during HANNOVER MESSE 2016 (25 to 29 April). In addition, the "tech transfer – Gateway2Innovation" display in Hall 2, stand B02, will provide detailed information on the products nominated for the HERMES AWARD 2016 as well as on the responsible firms.