WASHINGTON, DC – The White House today announced a $5 million grant to the Ohio Supercomputer Center and several partner organizations to support the advanced manufacturing efforts of midwestern small- and medium-sized manufacturers (SMEs).
Representatives from the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC), the Ohio Board of Regents, Procter & Gamble, PolymerOhio and the Council on Competitiveness were among those present as White House and Department of Commerce officials formally announced the Economic Development Administration grant for the Midwest Project for SME-OEM Use of Modeling, Simulation and Analysis. The federal officials also formally signed a memorandum of understanding between the federal government and the participating Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).
The EDA project will introduce modeling, simulation, and analysis (MS&A) to supply-chain manufacturers in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan who do not alone have the resources to implement this technology into their workflow. The grant funds efforts in the four-state region over the first 18 months and creates a five-year public-private partnership that will then expand the initiative nationally.
The Obama Administration expressed its commitment to "building a 21st century manufacturing economy by supporting small business development to create the technologies and industries of the future." The influx in technology is intended to promote job-retention, supply-chain growth, new exports and reshoring.
OSC will receive nearly $2 million of the $5.35 million public-private partnership project and will serve as one of four resource providers, with a number of subject matter experts working with SME enterprises to help them adopt MS&A in their business process. OSC experts will extend specialized web portals and create additional portals derived from OEMs to assist manufacturing suppliers.
"Accelerating the adoption of these technologies will help Ohio manufacturers stay competitive, grow their businesses, sell more products overseas, and create jobs," said Chancellor Eric D. Fingerhut of OBR.
As outlined in Ohio's 10-year "Strategic Plan for Higher Education", helping Ohio businesses to stay on the cutting edge of knowledge and technology is a key role for OSC, the University System of Ohio and all of the state's higher education assets.
"This initiative is a perfect example of industry and academic organizations working together to directly address the technical barriers, costs and training necessary to effectively use advanced technologies in manufacturing," said Ashok Krishnamurthy, interim co-executive director at OSC. "By leveraging each other's strengths, we can create an advanced manufacturing supply chain that uses modeling and simulation tools to greatly increase American competitiveness."
The center has been working to promote MS&A to manufacturers through its internationally recognized Blue Collar Computing™ program. OSC will work with OEMs to assist their suppliers to bring production up-to-code and to speed products to market, enhancing global competitiveness. In addition, OSC will stand up a high performance computational cluster valued at $500 thousand to be used as a platform for computational work required by small and large industry partners.
The award comes on the heels of a $355 thousand Commerce Department grant announced by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) that targets small polymer companies to help them address the technical barriers, costs and training needed to effectively use advanced manufacturing technologies.
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