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CSIC to explore benefits of exoskeletons in UK construction and manufacturing industries

Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) is part of an international team hosting a webinar to launch a new initiative that aims to accelerate the adoption of exoskeletons in construction and industrial manufacturing SMEs across Europe’s North Sea Region.

The European project, EXSKALLERATE, which is co-funded by the Interreg North Sea Region Programme 2014 - 2020, will over the next three years enhance SME competitiveness and occupational health by transforming the North Sea Region into a leading exoskeleton ecosystem.

The event will take place on June 25 from 2-3pm, and participants will hear from Dr Michiel de Looze of TNO who will explain how exoskeleton adoption could benefit companies and address their potential power to reduce workload. InnovationQuarter will also introduce the EXSKALLERATE project.

Anton Duisterwinkel, coordinator of EXSKALLERATE at InnovationQuarter, said: “People have to work for longer periods in our ageing society. We strive to help people in the manufacturing and building industries to do that in a healthy and happy way by accelerating the uptake of exoskeletons. Once established in these industries, we expect that other industries, such as logistics and agriculture, will follow rapidly.”

It is believed that as many as 44 million workers in the European Union (EU) are affected by workplace-related musculoskeletal disorders, resulting in significant costs to industry through absence and reduced productivity.

CSIC’s director of innovation and engagement, Lucy Black, said: “Innovative wearable technology like exoskeleton devices have the potential to transform the construction and manufacturing industries by improving safety and efficiency, and reducing the long term costs associated with poor employee health and sickness.

“It can support workers to increase their quality of life at work by decreasing the number of musculoskeletal injuries where heavy physical work can lead to severe health issues, reducing costs for a company in the long run.”

According to research conducted by the EXSKALLERATE partners, exoskeleton use could alleviate 10-40% of muscle peak loads for passive exoskeletons, and up to 80% for active.


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