Grand Traverse Area Manufacturing Council (GTAMC) teamed with fellow manufacturing councils -Cadillac Area Manufacturers Association (CAMA) and Northwest Michigan Industrial Association (NWMIA- Petoskey  area) – in a broad regional effort to help manufacturers better assess and finance their transition to the future.  Industry 4.0 refers to the mass cyber-physical digitalization of products & services, transforming business and human-machine interaction.

Networks Northwest —the convening public agency for a 10 County Michigan Prosperity Zone – led the formation of the I4.0 Consortium which also includes Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (regional office in TC), Northwest Michigan College and Traverse Connect. The Michigan Economic Development Corp (MEDC)  recently updated its strategic plan to include helping the state’s Small & Medium sized manufacturers accelerate their adoption of I.4.0 to remain/become competitive, making available over $7 million in grants.  MMTC and downstate-based Automation Alley received about $5million to increase company awareness of I 4.0 & assess readiness. The Consortium is competing in the $2 million portion of MEDC’s RFP, with a proposal that includes shopfloor grants to help finance transition, acceleration of NMC’s Laboratory/HUB for worker & student training, R&D, prototyping, etc.

Rob Summers- GTAMC’s Chair & Board Member, and Sr Business Advisor MMTC  — “Those who attended our 2018, 2019, and 2020 Manufacturing Summits will have noted  increased content on the Digital Transformation  in Manufacturing, and its accelerated integration into the physical side of products and operations.  MEDC’s focus and assistance is most welcome.  There are over 500 manufacturers in the region, we are proud to collaborate with other members of the Consortium, and are grateful for Network Northwest’s leadership.”

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