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Economy and Business

Northeast Ohio colleges and universities join business advocacy group to help manufacturers
Schools lend expertese, manufacturers provide real world experience for university innovations

Kevin Niedermier
Magnet President Dan Berry announces the Prism Program, which combines Magnet's manufacturing advocacy with the technological expertise of 4 Northeast Ohio universities to help small and medium sized manufacturers.
Courtesy of Kevin Niedermier
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In The Region:

A Northeast Ohio manufacturing advocacy and growth network and a group of area colleges and universities have formed a partnership to boost manufacturing in the region.                                                                     

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Case Western Reserve University, Lorain County Community College, Cleveland State and the University of Akron are lending their technology and innovation management expertise to small and medium sized manufacturers. The program to find these businesses the help they need and grow is coordinated by the manufacturing advocate Magnet. Magnet president Dan Berry says many businesses need help moving new ideas into the marketplace.

“First of all in organizing an innovation strategy, and then many of them need ongoing support in terms of project management, how to make decisions about resource allocation and how to set priorities. Thirdly, companies need help in the technical area. We’ve been able to provide engineering support, but there are resources and technology at many of our universities that can really help them shortcut the innovation process.”  

While the university partners can help the manufacturers, the program can also benefit the university’s mission according to Case Western Reserve University Provost Bud Baeslack.

“Although another part of our mission from a research standpoint is technology commercialization, it’s also to take the research we do and translate that to technology and ultimately see it applied in the real world. There are many ways that happens at a university, but through this direct connection of our facility and students out in the community working, we can have that technology applied.”

Baeslack says the program is also a workforce development tool, because students sent to assist these companies many stay here in Northeast Ohio to work after graduation instead of going elsewhere. Magnet estimates the program will generate more than 3000 new jobs in the region by the end of the decade.

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