Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences is one of the education partners in an exciting new project advancing robotics technology in the east Netherlands, that will strengthen the country’s smart industry and result in employment growth.
The Robotics Experience Centre Testing Ground Project (RECAP) is going ahead after receiving financial support from the European Fund for Regional Development last month.
The project is a collaboration between ESPS – the manufacturer behind the Robotics Experience Centre in Almelo and also a member of the WWINN Group – SMEs, Conway as well as industrial end users Vernay Europa B.V. and Wouter Witzel Eurovalve. The knowledge partners are Wittenborg and the University of Twente.
Wittenborg is looking towards developing a unique MBA programme catering to the management needs of smart industry and also providing training and workshops in that regard.
“The overall goal of the project is to develop the Robotics Experience Centre (REC) into the knowledge and innovation center for robotics technology in advanced production processes in the east Netherlands,” a press release from WWINN reads. The REC focuses primarily on the high-tech systems and materials sctor (HTSM) as well as the manufacturing industry. ESPS acts as overall coordinator of the project.
It is believed that the cooperation between the partners in the REC and resulting sustainable testing ground will strengthen the smart industry sector with international innovations in industrial robotics, economic development and employment growth.
The partners in the RECAP project identified similar opportunities for their new products and knowledge, and the REC proved to be the perfect place to set up their testing ground. Combining state-of-the-art robotics technology, development facilities, test systems and user simulations, the REC offers the right environment for faster, better and more efficient development of new products and processes. A center for open innovation in the field of robotics is unique in the east Netherlands.
Two Wittenborg researchers, Dr Abdul Rauf and Dr Alexander Bauer, will contribute to the project by doing extensive research around the effects of robotic implementation on product development, innovation and cost efficiency. They will also look at what management skills the smart industry will require in the future, what management study programmes are available to cater to industry needs and what is the current status of robotic manufacturing in SMEs.
Rauf is currently the coordinator of Wittenborg’s School of Business and received his PhD from the University of Twente last year. Bauer holds a PhD in International Business Management and is involved in setting up a new Wittenborg branch in Vienna next year.
Rauf said: “I am really excited to be part of this important project which will have a huge impact on the implementation of robotic technology in the next few years. The current human resource system is inadequate for the future requirements of the smart industry and there will need to be a shift in the skills set of management and employees.”
Several development activities will be carried out during the course of the RECAP-project. These are mainly aimed at developing, testing and validating product and process innovations concerning robotic applications. The knowledge gained will be used in education programmes and for the realisation of new products.
by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press