WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – Purdue University’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center will receive nearly $18 million in funding over the next five years to expand its manufacturing services. The university says the funding, which comes from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, enables MEP to implement advanced technology such as robotics, flexible automation and related Industry 4.0 technologies.
With anticipated local industry funding, Purdue says the MEP’s total budget is expected to exceed $30 million during the five-year period. The university is also planning to utilize portions of the funding for COVID-19 related assistance for manufacturers around the state.
“Purdue MEP has consistently demonstrated a commitment to strengthening U.S. manufacturing and serving as an exemplary member of the MEP National Network. We look forward seeing the positive results for Indiana smaller manufacturers made possible by these new awards,” said Carroll Thomas, director of the national Manufacturing Extension Partnership program.
The funding is coming from three areas. The first is base operating funding that Purdue says will allow the center to continue its efforts to enhance the productivity and technological performance of Indiana manufacturers, specifically in Lean manufacturing, leadership development, and cybersecurity, among others. Funding from the CARES Act National Emergency Assistance Program will be used solely for projects to assist manufacturers in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Purdue says additional funding from the national MEP’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology initiative, which is a collaboration among MEP centers in Iowa, Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania, will position the center to provide small manufacturers support with technologies that address the shortage of skilled labor.
“We are thrilled to build upon our work with Indiana manufacturers and appreciate that NIST MEP has accepted these three unique proposals,” said David Snow, Purdue MEP’s director. “These awards will allow us to expand our core competencies and assist manufactures with the unique challenges posed by the current environment.”
In the past year, Purdue says the center has provided assistance to more than 1,200 companies and has helped clients collectively achieve more than $4.3 billion in economic impact in Indiana.