FuzeHub Named Statewide Manufacturing Extension Program Center

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FuzeHub, a not-for-profit organization responsible for growing small to medium manufacturing companies (SMEs) in New York State by matching them with technical and business resources, has been designated by Empire State Development (ESD) as the Statewide Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center, a new entity that complements New York’s robust network of 10 regional MEP centers that provide hands-on services to companies in every corner of the state. FuzeHub will be the first MEP Center to have a footprint that spans the entire state.  Funding for this award is $2.4 million per year for five years.
As the Statewide MEP Center, FuzeHub will use its technology platforms to direct companies to appropriate resources and supply chain partners, market ESD and other New York State capabilities, and support initiatives designed to boost New York’s competitiveness in advanced industries. More than half of FuzeHub’s funding will be used to administer a $1 million annual Manufacturing Innovation Fund to be used for manufacturing innovation grants and commercialization and innovation competitions. Since FuzeHub was launched in 2013, the organization has received more than 400 requests for assistance.
“It’s an exciting time for FuzeHub. Understanding the resource ecosystem can be challenging for a small business, but with this support from New York State, we will be able to expand our team and create new strategic collaborations with many federal and statewide partners for the benefit of those businesses,” said FuzeHub Executive Director Elena Garuc.  “FuzeHub will continue to be a conduit for manufacturers and a resource hub that enables streamlined, accelerated and organized utilization of NYS resources, saving companies time and effort in navigating the landscape as they seek growth solutions.”
“Announced by Governor Cuomo in 2013, FuzeHub has leveraged the industry’s top talent to support New York small-and medium-sized manufacturing companies by connecting them with technology resources and expertise to grow their business in the Empire State,” said ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “We look forward to FuzeHub’s leadership as the statewide MEP Center and encourage manufacturers to utilize the vast resources available both online and at Solutions Forums held across the state to continue generating business growth, expansion and job creation statewide.”
FuzeHub’s successful connections include ThermoAura Inc., an innovative manufacturer of nano-enhanced thermoelectric material. When ThermoAura needed to solve challenges with understanding its applicable environmental regulations, permitting and workflow validation, FuzeHub provided solutions and connected the company to engineering expertise. FuzeHub also helped with the design and acquisition of its manufacturing equipment.
“Having a go-to resource such as FuzeHub is very valuable to a growing company like ours,” said Rutvik J. Mehta, Ph.D., CEO of ThermoAura.  “The availability to tap into assets and expertise around New York State helps us look beyond the region.”
In addition, FuzeHub connected ThermoAura with a downstate company for product testing, when there were no local options.
Another company FuzeHub has assisted is BetterLenseCase.com.
“FuzeHub has provided us with invaluable assistance, bringing our startup prototyping for an innovative contact lens case from Florida to New York. This has expedited production lead time, has saved on shipping with a competitive price,” said Zachary Cutler, founder and inventor of BetterLensCase.com.  “The assistance provided by FuzeHub has inspired us to seek their help again to bring two small start-up businesses to New York, which will now be headquarters for our smart irrigation controls and flood water barrier companies.”
Since 1988, the federal Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) has been committed to strengthening U.S. manufacturing and continually evolving to meet the changing needs of manufacturers. MEP is a part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a U.S. Department of Commerce agency. Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation administers and provides matching funds for the New York MEP program, which is the go-to resource for small and mid-sized manufacturers across the state. In fiscal year 2014 the New York MEP program resulted in $537.7 million in increased and retained sales, 4,054 new and retained jobs, $140.1 million in new investments by clients, and $50.9 million in cost savings to clients.
In support of its mission to serve as a one-stop for manufacturers in need of growth resources and to promote MEP and other assets, FuzeHub will continue to hold Solution Forums and industry-related events and undertake strategic initiatives benefiting manufacturers, for example through a program designed to facilitate the development of in-state supply chains.
For more information on FuzeHub, visit www.fuzehub.com.
About FuzeHub
FuzeHub is a not-for-profit organization that works to better connect New York’s small and mid-sized manufacturing companies to the resources, programs and expertise they need for technology commercialization, innovative solutions and business growth.  It unites and integrates a broad network of multi-disciplinary public and private sector technology, industry and commercialization services, experts and partners.  FuzeHub was initiated by the partnering of a state and federal program with support from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s NIST MEP and Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology & Innovation (NYSTAR).
About Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR)
Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) mission is to accelerate the growth of New York State’s high-tech economy.  NYSTAR’s programs are designed to enable new and existing businesses to become more competitive through the use of innovative technologies, and emphasize the importance of working with industry to leverage the state’s technology strengths to produce new products and, therein, new and expanded jobs in the state. Through funded programs which support world-class technology research at colleges and universities, NYSTAR works to promote a robust network of industry-university partnerships throughout the state.  Its support of Regional Technology Development Centers provides direct technology assistance to small and medium size manufacturers and other businesses.
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