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Published in Manufacturing

State opens applications for $3M in Industry 4.0 support grants

BY Monday, May 09, 2022 03:32pm

Manufacturers throughout Michigan can now apply for grant funding to help cover costs associated with adopting Industry 4.0 technologies.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) today announced the application process is now open for its Industry 4.0 Technology Implementation Grant program. Manufacturers can secure up to $25,000 to cover up to half of the costs associated with implementing advanced technology such as additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, robotics and automation.

The program will award $3 million in funding through six partnering nonprofit organizations. West Michigan manufacturers can apply for grant funding through The Right Place Inc. and Southwest Michigan First.

“In order to remain competitive, Michigan will help prepare manufacturers to adopt new and innovative technologies for the future through programs like the Industry 4.0 initiative,” MEDC President and CEO Quentin Messer Jr., said in a statement. “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.”

The Right Place received $588,235 in grant money to distribute, and Southwest Michigan First received $294,118.

The grant program is the latest in MEDC’s overarching Industry 4.0 initiative that was originally announced in late 2020. The initiative aims to prepare 50 percent of the state’s manufacturers, or roughly 6,200 businesses, to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies by 2025.

“Based on first-year feedback we received from our statewide and regional services providers, cost remained the biggest barrier for small manufacturers to adopt new technologies,” said Natalie Chmiko, vice president of small business solutions for the MEDC. “Through these grants, we can provide the much-needed financial assistance to support small manufacturers in every corner of the state. We’re confident that by implementing these solutions manufacturers can transform their culture for the future of manufacturing while also making positive impacts to operational processes, labor utilization or energy consumption.”

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