You are here

Current Projects

Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program

OMI is Lead PI organization on phase two of a $2.24M Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment grant to assist companies affected by defense spending cuts. Companies are connecting to vetted third-party solution providers, including MEPs, to conduct product diversification, market research, technology commercialization, and workforce system projects. Community economic development projects, including an economic gardening project in Ashtabula County, have been conducted to build the strength of the surrounding regions. Program management includes making sure that company and community project deliverables are completed within a 6-9 month window, with completed impact statements due in 12-18 months.

More information:

Ohio Innovation Exchange

OMI serves on statewide research expertise portal project core team with the goal of connecting Ohio academic and technical institutions with industry partners. The role includes setting up the human network of regional industry engagement partners at universities to provide technical resources, faculty expertise, student interns, research labs to support state industry. In addition, TechSolve requested that OMI take on program management of a $425K Ohio Edison Center project to support mapping of technical assistance resources at universities and community colleges, Ohio Technical Centers, MEPs, technical centers, and industry organizations.  By creating a robust statewide referral system to serve small and medium-sized firms beginning day one of the public launch, the goal is to foster regional technical ecosystems/clusters, cross-industry collaboration, and public- private partnerships that will remove industry-academic barriers.

More information:

Ohio Advanced Manufacturing Technical Resource Network Roadmaps 

Under a $500K multi-part Ohio Development Services Agency grant, OMI worked with Ohio MEPs and Edison Centers on statewide roadmaps to determine industry-vetted manufacturing needs and technical solutions by manufacturing process (machining, molding, joining/forming, additive manufacturing). During the roadmaps conducted, the largest overall challenge to SMMs were workforce and training, especially in hiring engineers and technologists with in-demand skills. Other areas of general concern included:

  • Advanced materials – challenges in incorporating new materials and technologies on the factory floor
  • Smart manufacturing – SMMs are not ready to adopt production strategies incorporating Internet of Things (IoT), modeling and simulation, and Industry 4.0 concepts
  • Innovation and commercialization – increasing speed of product development, prototyping and commercialization (and developing networks to exploit new opportunities)

More information:

Ohio Means Internships & Co-ops 2.5 and 3 

OMI and Ohio State staff served as program managers for the Central Ohio OMIC 2.5 and 3 program. OMIC 2.5 supported Ohio State and its academic and industry partners in efforts to train and hire a workforce proficient in the application of advanced lightweight metal alloys, manufacturing technologies and design methods important to advanced manufacturing. The co-located internship program involved a partnership approach to education to connect industry, academic faculty, and students. OMIC 3 has adopted a hub approach to allow the respective institutions to further develop strengths in manufacturing education and leverage existing industry and academic partnerships in advanced manufacturing.

More information:

US EDA Engineering Technology Skills Assessment

OMI has been subcontracted by the Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence to develop recommendations on multi-industry engineering technology curricula based on needs identified by area defense and commercial manufacturers and O*Net skills data. We conducted five regional focus groups composed solely of manufacturers that identified industry-driven skills gaps and opportunities in educational institution programs; we are now working with North Central State College and Columbus State Community College to develop in-demand engineering technology curricula to fulfill SMMs’ challenge of finding workers with technical skills requiring more than high school and less than a four-year degree.

US EDA Product Development and Commercialization

OMI was subcontracted by the Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence to develop recommendations regarding how to best leverage and optimize manufacturing and commercial growth in the state during defense spending reductions. The Central and North Central Ohio region economic drivers and its defense-commercial industry interactions will be evaluated compared to other regional and national innovation models. OMI is developing a framework for connecting OEMs and SMMs from the local defense, automotive, aerospace, white goods and other markets with manufacturing expertise that already exists in the state. Development of seminar series and learning events (short courses and workshops) are included in the deliverables. 

Lorain Community College Innovation Fund Validation Study

Under the direction of Ned Hill, PhD, and Kathryn Kelley, a multi-part industry-focused study has been established to analyze advanced manufacturing and tech-based innovation systems (from start-ups to larger, established firms), and the set of best practices that drive those innovation processes.  A key piece of this research will examine Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio (IF-NEO), and its role in the development of start-up/very early-stage tech-focused enterprises. We are mapping the innovation processes using Ohio Third Frontier Program and historic GLIDE data to make a quantitative argument on program growth to other educational institutions. As part of this process, we are interviewing company clients and community partners to develop an agreed-upon innovation and intervention model for continued regional impact and investment.