November 18, 2019

IMEC Launches New Program to Invest in the Future of Illinois Manufacturers

IMEC Launches New Program to Invest in the Future of Illinois Manufacturers

With over $2.5 Million of Investments in R&D and Technology, the Illinois Manufacturing Innovation Voucher Program Will Help Small & Medium-Sized Manufacturers (SMMs) See Measurable Gains in Productivity and Competitiveness

IMECa member of the MEP National Network, launched the Illinois Manufacturing Innovation Voucher for SMMs to accelerate technology adoption in their products and processes. Presented with $25,000 matching fund awards, Illinois manufacturers will acquire knowledge from industry experts to help resolve minor technological issues or outline possible solutions for a more complex problem. Projects are expected to be practical in nature and focus on productivity improvements and/or product development that lead to substantive results.

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Illinois is a US manufacturing powerhouse that generates $304.8 billion in annual output according to a recent Illinois Manufacturers’ Association study. The manufacturing base is built on supply chains of small and mid-sized manufacturers, which represent 99% of the sector. These companies continue to be at the heart of communities across the state. Yet, many of these manufacturers are challenged to acquire the necessary expertise and funding to adopt new technologies. These same technologies are vital to transform and modernize their operations.

“Global trends like Industry 4.0 and the workforce skills gap are rapidly changing the manufacturing landscape. This is happening while we are witnessing slower productivity growth in small and mid-sized manufacturers. The timing of this program is critical for Illinois manufacturers to respond to this changing landscape.” – David Boulay, Ph.D. President – IMEC.

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The Illinois Manufacturing Innovation Voucher is a revolutionary program that will lead to a total investment of $2.5 million in the upcoming year with approximately 50 projects expected to be completed. Existing Illinois manufacturers that employ between 5 and 500 people are encouraged to apply for the program. Selected projects must be conducted in Illinois and will be granted up to $25,000 towards the cost of using external expertise to successfully complete and exceed project goals. Recipients are expected to pay half the project’s eligible expenses.

“IMEC has been investing in the future of Illinois manufacturers by helping them break through growth barriers and sustain competitiveness. This is a great new opportunity for our small and medium-sized manufacturers to take control of their future and lead the way for Illinois to pioneer the next era of manufacturing.” – Craig Zoberis, President – Fusion OEM

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