STEAM Innovation Center Bridging the R&D Gap for Ohio Manufacturers

category-badge-INNOVATIONOH!Manufacturing and PolymerOhio are proud to announce our latest collaboration: the STEAM Innovation Center at Otterbein University. This new science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) Center looks to address the research & development (R&D) resource issues faced by small- to medium-sized manufacturing firms (SMMs).

Many such firms are too small to have the equipment or personnel in-house to devote to R&D and are too large to qualify for start-up funding to assist them. With the STEAM Innovation Center, PolymerOhio and OH!Manufacturing seek to address this gap, connecting firms with expertise, equipment, space, and other elements to foster creativity and innovation.

About the STEAM Center

The STEAM Innovation Center, also the future home of Otterbein’s Systems Engineering program, is the first of its kind. Combining digital manufacturing tools and technical support services, the STEAM Center will help established manufacturers grow their business through the introduction of new products and processes. It will be an innovation epicenter for ideation, collaboration and innovation in a variety of forms and formats. Construction is currently underway, with phased occupancy beginning in the summer of 2016. The projected completion date for the STEAM Innovation Center is February 2017.

Benefits to Central Ohio Manufacturers

The STEAM Innovation Center offers a host of benefits to central Ohio manufacturers. The Center is essentially a “one-stop shop” for digital manufacturing tools, technical support, and business services. The resources available at the Center will:

Foster Innovation

Through a comprehensive series of events and programs, the STEAM Innovation Center will foster innovation through discussion of new technologies and professional interactions on a variety of needs.

Accelerated Innovation

Manufacturers can use the STEAM Innovation Center for faster design-to-market, ultimately increasing profitability. State-of-the-art equipment, technology and technical support mean firms can develop ideas, create and test prototypes, and adopt advanced manufacturing processes all in one place. Technical support will be available from PolymerOhio staff, consultants, Otterbein faculty and students, Edison Centers, and the extended network of private sector service providers. Additional business resources will provide IP, marketing, and strategic advice, further streamlining the R&D process.

Workforce Development

Situated on the Otterbein University campus, the STEAM Innovation Center offers excellent workforce development opportunities. Students are exposed to real-world manufacturing problems, giving them unmatched experimental learning. The Center also provides educational opportunities for current manufacturing employees to become acquainted with new technologies and processes. The STEAM Center is connecting with K-12 schools to expose students of all ages to the manufacturing process. Through all of these measures, Ohio manufacturing firms are sure to have a robust, knowledgeable workforce.

A recent feasibility study from Boyette Strategic Advisors projected the STEAM Innovation Center will have a substantial economic impact, bringing 200 jobs and $16 million in payroll to central Ohio.

OH!Manufacturing and PolymerOhio’s Unique Collaboration

OH!Manufacturing and PolymerOhio are active collaborators and stakeholders in the STEAM Innovation Center project. The organizations will move their offices to the building this summer, providing greater ease of use to our manufacturing clients.

OH!Manufacturing and PolymerOhio are proud to be a part of this innovative experience. It is impactful projects like this that energize and excite OH!Manufacturing and PolymerOhio, who are committed to growing Central Ohio’s polymer and manufacturing business through collaboration and innovation. To find out more, contact OH!Manufacturing at 614-776-5265 and PolymerOhio at 614-776-5720.

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