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Published in Manufacturing
West Michigan economic development groups launch Industry 4.0 campaign COURTESY PHOTO

West Michigan economic development groups launch Industry 4.0 campaign

BY Thursday, October 07, 2021 10:34am

West Michigan economic development organizations have launched a campaign aimed at preparing local manufacturers to adopt Industry 4.0 technology and practices.

Zeeland-based Lakeshore Advantage — in partnership with The Right Place Inc., Greater Muskegon Economic Development, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center-West and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. — today announced the launch of West Michigan Industry 4.0, which promotes an advanced technology approach to manufacturing.

“With one in three of our region’s jobs in manufacturing, Industry 4.0 technologies are essential to West Michigan’s economic health,” Lakeshore Advantage President Jennifer Owens said in a statement. “This campaign will help to secure our region’s place as an Industry 4.0 leader, recognizing West Michigan as the place to be for leading edge manufacturing technologies.”

“We are grateful to our partners for collaborating on this initiative and are excited to continue working with employers and smart manufacturing implementers as we focus on our region’s industry success,” Owens added.

In April, Lakeshore Advantage — which assists businesses in Ottawa and Allegan counties with growth opportunities — was one of 10 organizations to receive Michigan Strategic Fund grants to promote Industry 4.0 adoption and readiness among area manufacturers. Joining with its partner organizations to submit the grant application, Lakeshore Advantage received $92,787.

Lakeshore Advantage and its partnering organizations have launched a website for West Michigan Industry 4.0, where users can access a variety of statewide resources in addition to scheduling a free Industry 4.0 readiness assessment.

“We are eager to launch this campaign to help our region’s manufacturers increase their global competitiveness through Industry 4.0 resources,” Randy Thelen, president and CEO of The Right Place, said in a statement. “We need to drive new prosperity in our community, so it’s imperative that we empower businesses with the education and assets necessary for them to benefit from smart technologies and automation.”

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