COTEMACO - Increased NWE COmpetitiveness Through Efficient MAn & Machine COllaboration

Project Summary

Manufacturing SMEs in NWE are struggling to maintain their cost competitiveness against large-scale production facilities in low-wage economies. This sector specifically suffers workforce scarcity because employees in manufacturing SMEs are often subjected to physically repetitive tasks. The tasks are often under-stimulating, as well as contributing to adverse health effects. The next step to increase competitiveness will only be achieved by offering the high levels of production flexibility, made possible by collaborative robotics.

With the potential to have as much, if not more, impact on the manufacturing sector as 3D printing or IoT, cobots focus on enhancing the cooperation between human workers and industrial robots, unlike previous automation waves. Cobots manufacturing not only allows for a more efficient use of employees (+85%, MIT): it reduces health issues and raises motivation.

The COTEMACO regional field labs in the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium and Germany are showcasing key production steps in the automotive and food industries, in order to tackle current low sectorial awareness and knowledge gaps. The auto and food field labs share transferable knowledge of tasks, such as handling and (un)loading. Cobots are brought closer to end-user SMEs through testing and interacting in the relevant industry conditions by SME management and other stakeholders in regional manufacturing economies.

COTEMACO engages with 60 SMEs from automotive and food sectors in the field labs via voucher schemes. Working with 50 of these SMEs, COTEMACO is also working towards implementing collaborative robotics through international cooperation. This will maintain >€500M of regional turnover and >1250 NWE manufacturing jobs, and generate >€50M and > 125 new jobs. Replication across other sectors and regions will ensure long-term financing sustainability of field labs (private contracts), exploring the potential of additional funding to be paired with regional sources.

Social channels

Project Partners

  • The University of Lincoln

    1 Brayford Way
    LN6 7TS
    United Kingdom

    View partner details

  • Voka - Limburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry

    51 Governor Roppesingel

    View partner details

  • Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership

    36 Orchard Street
    LN1 1YZ
    United Kingdom

    View partner details

  • HighTechNL

    68 HighTechCampus

    View partner details

  • Food Tech Brainport

    3 Scheepsboulevard
    5705 KZ

    View partner details

  • ZeMA - Center for Mechatronics and Automation Technology GmbH

    Geb. 9 Gewerbepark

    View partner details

  • BEST - Advice Center for socially acceptable Technology-Designing

    6 Fritz-Dobisch-Straße

    View partner details

  • Flanders Make

    133 Oude Diestersebaan

    View partner details

Lead partner

Organisation Contact name Address Email Website
Flanders Make Ger van den Kerkhof / Georges Verpoorten / Mark Antonissen 133 Oude Diestersebaan
Belgium / /
Name Contact Name Email Country
The University of Lincoln Andrea Paoli, Mark Swainson, United Kingdom
Voka - Limburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry Veroniek Hermans Belgium
Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership Simon Murphy United Kingdom
HighTechNL Ben van der Zon Netherlands
Food Tech Brainport Anke van den Heuvel, John de Groot, Netherlands
ZeMA - Center for Mechatronics and Automation Technology GmbH Matthias Vette-Steinkamp Germany
BEST - Advice Center for socially acceptable Technology-Designing Matthias Hoffmann Germany


Food processing industry offers great opportunities for robotics industry, but has a few specific rules

Posted on

The COTEMACO kick-off meeting for the robotics industry, held at HighTechNL last week, attracted a great deal of interest. The challenges, market size and often harsh working conditions in the food processing industry offer great potential for technology providers of flexible automation and robotics. However, it is not a market that can be accessed without the necessary prior knowledge, according to the presentations of WUR and Food Tech Brainport. Read More


Zitdag: Hoe flexibel produceren door nieuwe technologieën in de food-, assemblage- en automotive industrie?

, Voka - Kamer van Koophandel Limburg Gouverneur Roppesingel 51 3500 Hasselt

During the "cobots and digital support" day you can make an appointment with an account manager and/or technical expert from Flanders Make. Based on your specific case and needs, the most suitable automation formula can be discussed. It will also be considered whether you can be part of the COTEMACO project and whether you are eligible for these support measures. (In Dutch).
Read More

Workshop Cotemaco für Integratoren

, ZeMA - Zentrum für Mechatronik und Automatisierungstechnik gGmbH Eschberger Weg 46 D-66121 Saarbrücken

The workshop will be initiated by a joint exchange of experts on the state of the art and the demonstration of the individual application areas of MRK solutions. A subsequent lecture on the subject of security in the context of MRK will invite discussion. Finally, a tour of the demonstrator landscape at ZeMA with MRK best practices will round off the workshop. (In German)
Read More

Symposium on Automated and Robotised Manufacturing

, Trier University of Applied Sciences, Environmental Campus, Birkenfeld Campusallee, 55768, Hoppstädten-Weiersbach, Germany

ZeMA will present COTEMACO at the symposium, bringing together engineers and managers involved in optimising, planning and developing remanufacturing processes. At the event, best practice around remanufacturing with automated and robotised processes will be shared by suppliers of robots and automation equipment, as well as researchers who are examining new applications. In addition, a series of lectures, demonstrations and posters will examine topics such as: remanufacturing based on robotics, human/robot collaboration and industry 4.0.
Read More


Get in touch with a partner in your region and discover available opportunities for your SME.




Contact person  

Contact data 


Food Tech Brainport 


de Groot 

Tel.: +31 6 5358 5395 


High Tech NL 


van der Zon 

Tel.: +31 88 555 43 33 



Flanders Make 

Georges Verpoorten 


Mark Antonissen 

Tel.: +32 11 790 545 

Tel.: +32 476 283 878 


Voka – Kamer van Koophandel Limburg 

Veroniek Hermans 

Tel.: +32 496 86 46 94 



DE: Saarland, Rheinland-Pfalz 

FR: Grand Est, 


ZeMA – Zentrum für Mechatronik und Automatisierungstechnik gGmbH 

Matthias Vette-Steinkamp 

Tel.: +49 6 81 85 787 531 

Greater Lincolnshire (UK) 

University of Lincoln 

Andrea Paoli 

Tel.: +44 1406 493003 


Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (Business Lincolnshire) 

Simon Murphy 

+44 1522 550 603 


Share this

Tweet Share