Advanced Manufacturing Initiative Launched to Address Critical Issues Facing New York Manufacturers

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Led by four centers within the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the newly created initiative will help manufacturers with cybersecurity, advanced materials, supply chain and technology projects

 

ALBANY, N.Y. – The New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NY MEP) announced the launch of its Advanced Manufacturing Initiative, which will help small to mid-sized manufacturers tackle some of the most critical issues they will face in 2024. Through this new initiative, manufacturing companies with 500 or fewer employees will have access to resources, expertise and grant funding in four key areas — supply chain, cybersecurity, advanced materials and Industry 4.0.

The four program areas within the Advanced Manufacturing Initiative will each be overseen by a different NY MEP center. TDO will lead the supply chain program; the Advanced Institute for Manufacturing (AIM) at MVCC will take charge of the cybersecurity program; FuzeHub will guide the advanced materials program; and the Alliance for Manufacturing and Technology (AMT) will spearhead the Industry 4.0 program. 

With funding from Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) along with NIST MEP (National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership), these four programs will enable manufacturers to bolster their competitiveness, realize cost savings, increase resiliency and improve efficiency. 

“Known for their resilience and commitment to innovation, New York State manufacturers consistently demonstrate advanced capabilities to adapt to market needs and capitalize on emerging opportunities,” said NYSTAR Executive Director Ben Verschueren. “By providing funding support for the NY MEP Advanced Manufacturing Initiative, NYSTAR will help ensure local manufacturers can access resources and solutions to strengthen their operations and fuel growth in the year ahead.”

New York State-based manufacturers looking to participate in one of the programs within the Advanced Manufacturing Initiative should contact their regional NY MEP center or the center leading their program of interest. 


SUPPLY CHAIN

 

Providing assessments to assist manufacturers in strengthening their supply chain management, this program helps companies identify best practices, prioritize improvement opportunities, reduce costs and strengthen competitiveness. The supply chain program will be overseen by TDO, the regional NY MEP center for Central New York. 

“For a manufacturer, their supply chain is vital to operations, profit, cashflow and reputation. During the pandemic, we all saw how incredibly disruptive supply chain issues can be to the manufacturing sector and our regional economies,” said James D’Agostino, MEP Center Director at TDO. “Managing the inventory of components to meet anticipated needs and containing costs allows for a predictable production process, which drives competitiveness and improves profitability.”

The confidential, manufacturer-specific recommendations offered during the assessment phase of the program will cover nine categories including: supplier pricing controls, collaborative planning with sales and operations, supply chain continuous improvement, communication with suppliers, supply chain controls, transportation and logistics, inventory management, inventory control and supply continuity planning.

Grant-funded support is available after the assessment phase for manufacturers wishing to pursue supply chain improvements.


CYBERSECURITY

 

The New York State Cybersecurity Manufacturing Initiatives Grant program helps address common cybersecurity needs in a practical and understandable way through in-person assessments by professionals who specialize in working with small and medium-sized manufacturers. AIM at MVCC, the Mohawk Valley’s regional center for the NY MEP, will lead the cybersecurity program. 

“Cybersecurity should be a top priority for every manufacturer. It’s critical to ensure you’re meeting government requirements, keeping your growth on track and protecting your business and client information,” said Cory Albrecht, AIM Director. “The cybersecurity framework provided through this initiative has the flexibility to be tailored to different industries in a simple, easy-to-digest format.”

This program will provide grants of $6,000 in project funding for phase one cybersecurity assessments. It also provides access to in-person events throughout the state and offers educational webinars and online training videos for companies looking to self-assess.


INDUSTRY 4.0

 

Understanding how to best incorporate the latest manufacturing technology can be a daunting task for companies, especially given the rapid pace of technological advancement. The New York State Industry 4.0 Advanced Manufacturing Initiative was specifically crafted to aid manufacturers in elevating their operations through technological enhancements and grant funding. AMT, the regional NY MEP center for the Southern Tier, will oversee this Industry 4.0 program. 

“Industry 4.0, put simply, is the use of advanced technologies — such as automation, data exchange, and artificial intelligence — to create smarter, more connected and efficient industrial processes,” said Carol Miller, Executive Director of AMT. “Today’s manufacturing landscape comes with challenges ranging from workforce shortages and supply chain disruptions to unyielding global competition. As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, manufacturers find themselves in a race to adopt and leverage these innovations or risk falling behind.”

This program includes grants of up to $20,000 for direct technical assistance. Grants require a manufacturer matching minimum of 50% which can include equipment purchases and hardware costs.

Also available through this program is TechEx, a working group for manufacturers from diverse industries for collaboration, exchanging ideas and learnings, and webinars designed to enhance understanding of technology-related opportunities and capabilities.


ADVANCED MATERIALS

 

The Advanced Materials Technical Assistance Program provides grant funding opportunities for manufacturers to access the guidance and support they need to replace materials in their products with more sustainable options. This program will be led by FuzeHub, the statewide center for the NY MEP. 

“New regulations targeting waste reduction and encouraging the use of sustainable materials create both challenges and opportunities,” said Elena Garuc, Executive Director of FuzeHub. “As manufacturers deepen their understanding of the new requirements and potential replacement materials, they can often accelerate implementation through access to expertise and grant funding. This technical assistance program helps manufacturers address exactly those needs.”

This program combines three elements — training, a manufacturing readiness accelerator and grant funding. There will be grant awards of up to $20,000 each with a 1:1 matching requirement to support a 12-month-long project focused on adopting new, sustainable materials. 

For more information about each of the four programs within the NY MEP Advanced Manufacturing Initiative, manufacturers can visit newyorkmep.org/adv-mfg-initiative.

 

About the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership

 

The New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NY MEP) is a network of 11 organizations that provide growth and innovation services to small and mid-sized manufacturers in every corner of the state to help them create and retain jobs, increase profits, and save time and money. Supported through a combination of federal and state funding, the NY MEP is part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership and overseen by Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR). For more information on NY MEP, visit www.newyorkmep.org.

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