Last month, Flanders Make welcomed companies, researchers, and robotics and digitalisation enthusiasts to their Leuven facilities for COTEMACO’s last-ever project conference. ‘Future-proofing European SMEs through Digitalization & Robotization’ marked the culmination of the 4-year long Interreg North-West Europe project which has supported 65 companies from the automotive, agro-food, and flexible assembly sectors in future-proofing their business through the exploration of cobots (collaborative robots) and other digital solutions.
Personalised SME coaching = increased resilience
During the hybrid event, ZeMA shared some impressive statistics resulting from the personalised coaching service, part of the COTEMACO SME Support Programme. One of the project’s key objectives was to not only maintain and improve jobs and their working conditions, but also create new jobs for SMEs. COTEMACO well and truly achieved this, by maintaining over 1250 jobs and creating over 285 new ones!
Around 70% of the 65 SMEs received support for an automation solution, of which approximately a quarter were direct cobot applications, while 85% of the SMEs have implemented, are implementing, or are planning to implement the developed results.
The participating companies were also asked to share feedback on their experience once the support came to an end. Most participants (74%) were either satisfied or very satisfied with the support given, while the rest shared “neutral” feedback, or could not provide any.