Friday, April 18, 2014

Industry Update: Innovation Institutes


Industry update: innovation institutes. Four words starting with vowels (and none with consonants) all in one blog entry title!  Ah, it’s the little things in life that get me excited…
Anyway, innovation is the lifeblood of U.S. manufacturing – especially Michigan manufacturing. We’ve used innovation to establish ourselves as the leaders of manufacturing. Where’s the birthplace of the U.S. automobile industry? You know the answer: Michigan. When things were looking dire during the economic downturn…what state used innovation to create more manufacturing jobs than any other state in the nation? You guessed it: Michigan.
Michigan thrives on finding new ways to prosper and grow, and that’s why it’s in the news again for innovation…
New Manufacturing Innovation Institutes Created
The White House recently announced its decision to create two new innovation institutes. The institutes will bring together manufactures and researchers in an effort to improve the sector’s capabilities. Leaders from across the political aisle are recognizing the importance of manufacturing to the economy and how the industry creates strong, middle-class jobs. Ultimately, the institutes will help us attract more companies to build plants in the U.S.
Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation Institute (LM3I)
It should come to no one’s surprise that Michigan is the host to one of the institutes! The LM3I Institute is coming to the Detroit area and will be located in Canton Township. It is spearheaded by the nonprofit group EWI, Ohio State and the University of Michigan. These leaders will work with more than 60 different U.S.-based manufacturers, universities, colleges, and various other non-profit organizations. General Electric, Honda, Boeing and Alcoa, as well as leaders in the titanium, steel and aluminum industries, will all play a role. The institute will expand upon the growing trend of using lightweight metals in manufacturing by developing new and improved manufacturing innovation solutions.
Lightweight metal is already being used successfully in the automobile industry, which may be one of the reasons that Detroit was selected as the main location for the LM3I.
Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDI)
The DMDI Institute will be headquartered in Chicago, Illinois (I guess we can’t be selected for everything) and will combine the talents of some of the biggest names in the manufacturing industry (Caterpillar, Boeing, Proctor and Gamble, Lockheed Martin, etc.) with top named software developing companies like Microsoft, MSC Software, Systems Insight, and 3D Systems. It will pull together more than 70 different companies, universities, and research facilities to enhance the digital software capabilities in manufacturing.
Innovation Assistance

If you need help leveraging innovation for growth in your company, MMTC offers Leadership-in-Action Innovation Strategic Planning. This 3-day executive level hands-on workshop is focused on leading change. MMTC emphasizes the importance of organizational performance and creating a culture of improvement and innovation. For more information, click here.

Speaking of Innovation...
Innovation will be a major theme at the Proud to Manufacture in Michigan annual conference! This 2-day conference for Michigan’s manufacturing community will bring together an army of thinkers, innovators and industry experts. Imagine an exhibit floor filled with the latest product innovations and new technologies! This year’s conference will be held on June 10th and 11th at the Cobo Center in Detroit and is co-located with SME’s The Big M Manufacturing Convergence. For more information, click here.

proud to manufacture in michigan conference

Since 1991, MMTC has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses compete and grow. Through personalized services fitted to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at www.mmtc.org.

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