Written by: Steve Melito
FuzeHub connects New York State manufacturers to the resources, programs, and expertise they need to succeed. By helping small to mid-sized companies take technologies to market, this federally-funded initiative promotes innovation, commercialization, and business growth. “FuzeHub is about building connections,” explains Laura Mann, Director of Strategy and Operations, “and these connections are helping companies to achieve their goals.”
ESD/NYSTAR, NIST, and FuzeHub
Developed in partnership between ESD’s NYSTAR division and NIST, FuzeHub forms the center of a powerful network of resources that can help New York State manufacturers find equipment, expertise, scale-up production, and overcome business and technical challenges. “If there are resources within the state or federal MEP systems, we’ll help you find them,” said NYSTAR’s Director of Technology Development, Matt Watson, who oversees the initiative. “FuzeHub is well-connected to the private sector, too,” he adds, “with links to industry experts and partners.”
Announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo last November, FuzeHub features a Web-based platform that’s open for business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Manufacturers who ask for assistance typically receive a response within 48 hours. Innovation Specialists then help companies identify challenges, develop plans, and build connections. When obstacles are encountered, manufacturers can return to the center of the network – FuzeHub – and request additional assistance.
FuzeHub Success Stories
Below are three examples of how FuzeHub has helped build connections that provided real-world results.
Hydrosolutions North America develops and installs ecological wastewater treatment systems. With help from FuzeHub, the Long Island-based company began beta testing in Suffolk County, where there are over 350,000 households that could use Hydrosolutions’ technology. FuzeHub’s connections also helped Hydrosolutions to secure funding for third-party environmental testing. “We view FuzeHub as a valued ally,” says Michael Urtnowski, company president and CEO.
FuzeHub has also helped Thermoaura, a Troy-based nanotechnology company, with plans to produce thermoelectric materials that are 25% more efficient and cost 40% less than its competitors. From finding a manufacturing space to designing chemical storage facilities, FuzeHub’s connections enabled the nanotech startup to overcome obstacles. “With the assistance of the consultants we connected to through FuzeHub,” reports Rutvik Mehta, company founder, and CEO, “ThermoAura is poised for greatness.”
Tidy Tots, a New York State diaper manufacturer with patented green technology, also asked FuzeHub to help build connections that could boost production and sales. To increase Tidy Tots’ market share in the $8-billion per year diaper industry, FuzeHub provided strategic market planning and information about a $48,000 grant for essential new equipment. “As a result”, says Sandra Beck, company founder, and CEO, “I expect to double my production in the near-term.”
Resourceful, Responsive, and Results-Oriented
For New York State manufacturers, it’s not just the scope of FuzeHub’s capabilities that counts. Resourceful, responsive, and results-oriented, the FuzeHub team offers personal attention, custom solutions, and one-stop shopping. “Answers that might take me weeks to obtain, they could ascertain with a single phone call,” says Tidy Tots’ Sandra Beck about FuzeHub’s Innovation Specialists.
Laura Mann, FuzeHub’s Director of Strategy and Operations, welcomes Beck’s feedback. “We make sure that no stone is left unturned,” she explains,” and help New York manufacturers get the help they need by doing some of the heavy lifting.” Some companies are surprised to learn about programs or initiatives for the first time. Others are thrilled to start with a single point-of-contact in such a vast, resource-rich system that includes ESD regional offices.
By connecting manufacturers like Hydrosolutions North America, ThermoAura, and Tidy Tots to existing resources, FuzeHub is maximizing the investment in manufacturing that New York State has already made. “FuzeHub brings together all of our leading technology resources under one umbrella,” says Governor Andrew Cuomo, and “builds on the State’s work to create a business environment that allows manufacturers to thrive in New York.”