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Economy

Report Says Northeast Ohio Is Ripe for Building an Additive Manufacturing Industry

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JEFF ST.CLAIR
/
WKSU

A new report details how Northeast Ohio could become a hub for additive manufacturing – technology better known as 3-D printing.

One of the first steps is teaching workers and business owners just what additive manufacturing can do.

Northeast Ohio has long been known as a manufacturing hub, but a new economic development plan adds new technologies to the mix.

The report released Monday by Team NEO was developed through a grant from the Fund for Our Economic Future.

Tim Fahey, vice president for industry and innovation at Team NEO says the goal is simple.

“We want our region to be known internationally as a center for additive manufacturing, as a place where, if you are a European manufacturing of a 3-D printing machine and you want to find a place to locate in the U.S., that this would logically be the place.” 

Fahey says the major driver is Youngstown’s additive manufacturing accelerator America Makes – along with the region’s research universities, and prominent polymer, automotive, and biotech sectors.

But Fahey acknowledges that many traditional manufacturers have yet to see the benefits of the new technology.   

“We need to create educational programs, not just educating workers, but educating traditional manufacturers on how the technology can apply to their businesses.”

Team NEO’s seven year plan lays out a road-map to building additive manufacturing awareness.

Fahey says ultimate success may rely on developing a ‘tech-belt’ that combines the strengths of Northeast Ohio with innovative manufacturing in Pittsburgh.