SOUTHFIELD—The Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University has been awarded $197,985 in grant funding to provide regional Industry 4.0 programming and services to increase manufacturers’ readiness to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies. The funding is part of a Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC)-led initiative to ensure 50 percent of Michigan manufacturers are prepared to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies by 2025. The funding will support a 12- month project allowing Centrepolis Accelerator to scale up its Industry 4.0 activities as well as to launch a demonstration grant program using a pool of funding to offset the cost of I4.0 technology implementations with Michigan based manufacturers.
The project provides additional resources for the nation’s first Industry 4.0 Accelerator, a program currently led by Automation Alley and operated in partnership with Centrepolis and the Jackson-based Lean Rocket Lab. The project will further stimulate Michigan’s I4.0 innovation leadership position by attracting best-in-class advanced manufacturing technology companies from around the world and finding pathways for these firms to provide meaningful impact to our state’s manufacturing value chain, partnering with Michigan’s existing manufacturers that wish to adopt these technologies to improve their operational efficiencies. This high value match-making effort accelerates commercialization and scaling opportunities for startups and small manufacturers to bring their I4.0 technologies into real world manufacturing operations.
Centrepolis is collaborating closely with Automation Alley, Lean Rocket Lab, MEDC and Detroit Regional Partnership to support the attraction of companies in the I4.0 Accelerator pipeline with several companies already committed to or considering operations in Michigan. The I4.0 Accelerator program is also nurturing and scaling many I4.0 technology companies originating from Michigan. Centrepolis will also be partnering with Automation Alley, Lean Rocket Lab, Oakland County Economic Development, Manufacturing Growth Alliance to promote the availability of the new I4.0 demonstration grants to regional manufacturers.
“Through our statewide Industry 4.0 initiative, we’re working to ensure Industry 4.0 readiness for our small and medium-sized manufacturers, which will protect our leadership in manufacturing and position our workforce for success,” said Josh Hundt, chief business development officer and executive vice president at the MEDC. “We look forward to growing our partnership with Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University and continuing to help small to mid-size manufacturers be successful in finding creative ways to address implementing these new and often complex technologies.”
Centrepolis Accelerator’s project allows for dedicated grant funding to support a pilot program to offset the cost of demonstrating these I4.0 technologies with Michigan manufacturers. The program is committed to funding at least ten I4.0 demonstration projects over the term of the project. “Often manufacturers see opportunities to improve their operations, but are limited in their capital expenditures to commit to this effort,” said Dan Radomski, executive director of the Centrepolis Accelerator. “The demo grant offering provides the critical encouragement to test these I4.0 technologies by offsetting the cost of implementation. We are confident this program will improve Michigan manufacturer’s I4.0 preparedness by accelerating the adoption of these unique operational efficiency technologies, and at the same time help attract and grow the best in class I4.0 tech companies from around the world.”
About Centrepolis Accelerator
The Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University is accelerating the growth of Michigan’s cleantech, advanced manufacturing, innovative hardware entrepreneurs and small manufacturers by providing access to funding, experts and key business and product development resources. Visit centrepolisaccelerator.com.
About Lawrence Technological University
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers nearly 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.