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Monday, September 26 2016

Purdue MEP, IMEC, DMDII Awarded $1.2 Million to Fund Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Initiative


The Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Purdue MEP), Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC), and the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) were named recipients of a $1.2 million award by the U.S. Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).

The federally funded award supports the efforts of Manufacturing USA, a network comprising nine public-private research institutes, including DMDII, dedicated to advancing manufacturing innovation, education and collaboration. IMEC and Purdue MEP will use these funds to establish “fellows in residence” to work within DMDII to engage small and medium-sized manufacturers on their digital readiness and needs.

“We are in the first wave of a digital revolution in manufacturing. Our pilot framework brings together complementary expertise from the MEP system and DMDII,” said Dr. David Boulay, IMEC President. “This collaborative model will address manufacturing priorities through the creation and use of tools and resources that provide manufacturing leaders the roadmap and actions to embrace digital technologies.”

“We are gratified to be working with NIST MEP, Manufacturing USA’s DMDII, IMEC and the 51 MEP Centers nationwide to implement enabling Digital Manufacturing tools within our U.S. small manufacturers. Through the two-year funding award, the MEP system will soon be prepared to assess, educate and implement digital readiness within their state’s industries,” added David Snow, Center Director, Purdue MEP.

“From this award we can continue to proliferate the rise of the digital factory through our unprecedented partnership with the nation’s MEP centers,” said Haley Stevens, Director of Workforce Development and Manufacturing Engagement at DMDII. “The interconnectedness of manufacturing through data is changing manufacturing jobs. Through technical assistance, this investment provides the necessary resources to assist small and medium-sized manufacturers in preparing for and adopting digital transformations.”


Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)
Purdue MEP provides high-value solutions to help Indiana businesses maximize their success by increasing profits, reducing costs, and implementing growth systems. The organization serves more than 500 companies annually by implementing continuous improvement principles in the areas of productivity, growth and technology. As a result of their services, Purdue MEP clientele have reported new sales, product and market growth, cost reductions, and job growth—resulting in over $1.4 billion of economic impact in Indiana since 2005. 

The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII)
DMDII was launched in 2014 through a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense and other partners to transform American manufacturing through digitization of the supply chain. The Institute currently has more than 250 partner organizations from industry, academia, government, startups, and community groups. DMDII is the first Lab of UI LABS and is a member of the Manufacturing USA network. Learn more at

Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC)
IMEC was established in 1996 to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Illinois’ small and mid-sized manufacturing firms. By linking long-term plans with on-site implementation, IMEC identifies performance gaps, solves these gaps, and helps organizations build a culture to support sustained improvements. A non-profit economic development organization, IMEC is funded in part by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership and through fees paid by Illinois manufacturers for IMEC’s services. IMEC has seven offices statewide and 48 full-time manufacturing improvement specialists.

Since 1988, the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) has worked to strengthen U.S. manufacturing. Our national network of MEP Centers works directly with manufacturers and contributes to the growth of well-paying jobs, dynamic manufacturing communities, and American innovation and global competitiveness.

Writer: Ranae Stewart, 317-709-0723,

Writer: David Boulay, President, IMEC, 309-677-3766,

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