DETROIT — Partners including the Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan, Detroit Regional Chamber, Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center and National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, were awarded $2.19 million over three years through the federal Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge for Advanced Manufacturing.
The funding will support development of the “Innovation Realization Cluster” of Southeast Michigan and connect local businesses with new opportunities in an effort to foster growth and development of the region’s custom-manufacturing base.
Funds will allow partner recipients to identify and connect small-to-medium manufacturing firms that can support lower-volume, rapid-production, highly custom projects. For example, companies will be better poised to help entrepreneurial firms that develop new concepts to produce prototypes using high performance advanced modeling and simulation tools as well as initial runs of those products without necessarily going into high-volume production.
“Michigan is home to a wealth of innovation and manufacturers, as well as the support and infrastructure required for these types of initiatives to succeed,” said Rick Jarman, NCMS President & CEO, “small and medium manufacturers in Michigan need access to advanced tools and training in order to grow and succeed in today’s market; this collaboration will elevate manufacturers in the state, ensuring their global competitiveness.”
Partners will work with companies to develop their capacity to accommodate and promote contract manufacturing jobs, arrange partnerships to bid and work on such opportunities, and train workers in custom manufacturing processes, including rapid machine set-up, prototyping, and related skillsets.
Mike Finney, president and CEO of Michigan Economic Development Corp., added: “Manufacturers throughout Southeast Michigan are well-positioned to compete in this space. We can fuel innovation by teaching new processes and opening the door to new markets.”
In addition to the federal funds, the state of Michigan will provide $500,000 through the MI Match program. Other key supporting partners include the members of the Business Accelerator Network of SE Michigan (BANSEM), University of Michigan, and Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
The Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge for Advanced Manufacturing is funded by five federal agencies: Economic Development Administration, Employment & Training Administration, Small Business Administration, Department of Energy, and National Institute of Science & Technology.