Industry 4.0 funding available for small manufacturers

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Quentin Messer Jr. Courtesy MEDC

West Michigan manufacturers can apply for funding through Southwest Michigan First and The Right Place to help them adopt Industry 4.0 technologies.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) said Monday, May 9, small manufacturers in Michigan that are looking to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies now can apply for grants of up to $25,000 as part of the $3 million Industry 4.0 Technology Implementation Grant program.

The MEDC-led effort is meant to ensure half of Michigan manufacturers — or 6,200 businesses — are prepared to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies by 2025.

Industry 4.0 is defined as the convergence of digital and physical technologies, including artificial intelligence, 3D printing, robotics, augmented and virtual reality, the cloud and cybersecurity.

Grants will be reimbursement-based and will cover up to 50% of eligible technologies, including additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and robotics and automation.

“By supporting local partners and communities through these regional grants, we are strengthening our state’s leadership in advanced manufacturing and the entrepreneurship and jobs this innovative sector supports for years to come,” said Quentin Messer Jr., CEO of MEDC and president and chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) board.

The MSF approved $3 million in awards for six nonprofits, chosen through a request for proposals process earlier in the year to administer the implementation grants statewide. These organizations also will be tasked with promoting existing statewide resources to support Michigan small manufacturers with Industry 4.0 awareness and preparedness.

Grants were awarded to the following organizations:

  • Great Lakes Bay Manufacturers Association, $294,118 for a minimum of 10 organizations
  • Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development, Macomb County, $382,353 for a minimum of 13 organizations
  • Manufacturing Growth Alliance, Oakland & Wayne Counties, $1,323,529 for a minimum of 45 organizations
  • Networks Northwest, $117,647 for a minimum of four organizations
  • Southwest Michigan First, $294,118 for a minimum of 10 organizations
  • The Right Place, $588,235 for a minimum of 20 organizations

Grant applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all funds are allocated.

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