U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow, Co-Chair of the bipartisan Senate Manufacturing Caucus, and Carl Levin today announced that the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center in Plymouth has won a competitive grant to support the development of an Innovation Realization Cluster in Southeast Michigan. The Innovation Realization Cluster is an effort to support growth and development of the region's custom manufacturing base and create new high-tech jobs. The grant will help connect small-to-medium sized manufacturing firms with new product developers in the region and assist manufacturers with tools and resources to bring new products to market and to train workers.
The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center is the Michigan affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership. This partnership is a public-private network of centers that assist small and medium-sized manufacturers with innovative strategies to create new advanced manufacturing jobs, expand operations into new markets, and become more efficient. The Center is headquartered in Plymouth with affiliate offices in Grand Rapids, Marquette, Saginaw, and Traverse City.
Senator Stabenow said: "This award is welcome news for the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, which is helping manufacturers across Southeast Michigan bring new cutting-edge products to market and create high-tech jobs. We have seen consistent job growth in manufacturing over the past few years thanks in part to the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which helps our manufacturers grow their businesses and stay competitive in the global economy."
Senator Levin said: "This is critical support for the kind of innovation that boosts American manufacturing, helps grow our economy and creates good jobs. Michigan is at the heart of America's manufacturing renaissance, and the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center is playing a key role in that effort."
Mike Coast, President of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center said: "Hundreds of manufacturing firms in Southeast Michigan are well-positioned to grow their businesses. We can support innovative firms by teaching new processes and helping them enter new markets."
The $112,788 award is one component of a larger project funded under the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge, a competitive federal initiative to strengthen advanced manufacturing. Michigan's recipients include the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, the Detroit Regional Chamber, the Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan, the Southeast Michigan Community Alliance, and the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences.
The Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the National Science Foundation.