Tom Henderson| Crain’s Detroit Business
Several Southeast Michigan organizations will share $2.19 million over the next three years to help would-be entrepreneurs and start-up companies find small- to medium-sized manufacturing firms to do low-volume, rapid-production prototyping and custom projects.
The plan is to help new and emerging companies to turn ideas into products, and to help existing manufacturing companies acquire advanced modeling and simulation tools for prototyping and initial production runs.
The grant was awarded through the federal Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge for Advanced Manufacturing.
Sharing the grant will be the Detroit-based Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan, the Detroit Regional Chamber, the Plymouth-based Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center and the Ann Arbor-based National Center for Manufacturing Sciences.
“Small and medium manufacturers in Michigan need access to advanced tools and training in order to grow and succeed in today’s market,” said Rick Jarman, NCMS’ president and CEO, in a news release. “This collaboration will elevate manufacturers in the state, ensuring their global competitiveness.”
“We can fuel innovation by teaching new processes and opening the door to new markets,” said Mike Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.
In addition to the federal funds, the state of Michigan will provide a match of $500,000.
The accelerator challenge is funded by five federal agencies — the Economic Development Administration, the Employment & Training Administration, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Energy and the National Institute of Science and Technology.