$69 million federally funded lab of National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute will launch from YBI Campus
Posted by Jim Cossler, CEO & Chief Evangelist
The Youngstown Business Incubator is pleased to be selected as the site for the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII). Additive Manufacturing, also known as rapid prototyping or 3D printing, uses software to produce extremely complex parts by “adding” materials. NAMII is part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, a federal initiative to make the industry more globally competitive and increase exports.
The facility will be housed in YBI’s Boardman Street Annex (236 Boardman Street), a 12,000 square foot facility attached to YBI’s main building. The renovation project has received funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development through an earmark by Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-17), the City of Youngstown and the Youngstown Foundation. Barbara Ewing, COO of the YBI, said, “We gratefully acknowledge all of the funders for this project. Their support was absolutely crucial to allowing this project to happen here.”
One of requirements of the federal funding is to commercialize new technologies and support start-up firms in this growing field. In addition to the physical amenities that YBI offers to its tenants, it will work with NAMII’s leadership to develop new programs to promote entrepreneurialism within the field, ensuring that new products get to market and that new businesses are creating jobs. Ewing noted that this initiative is a perfect complement to YBI’s mission to facilitate the creation of high value businesses through collaborative partnerships that promote innovative technologies. “Because NAMII aligns so closely with our existing expertise, it provides us with an ideal platform to broaden our scope, while still being able to provide high level entrepreneurial support in business-to-business software,” Ewing stated.
Two existing YBI portfolio companies, M7 Technologies and Applied Systems and Technology Transfer (AST2), are partners to NAMII. AST2’s INVENTORCloud is a problem-based curriculum for high school students that uses additive manufacturing to teach innovation, creativity and design. Julie Michael Smith, Executive Vice President for AST2, noted that with YBI’s roots in information technology, it is well positioned to add value to this developing new field. “So much of what is used in additive manufacturing is design software and applications that support product improvement and innovation; YBI is a natural choice for this site.” AST2 has committed $200,000 in cost share to the grant and is supporting the workforce development component of the program.
M7 Technologies President and CEO, Mike Garvey, is also a member of the YBI Board of Directors. Garvey noted that in addition to YBI’s experience in software commercialization, Youngstown State University – another NAMII partner – has expertise in advanced materials. According to Garvey, that means that the region is at the intersection of the next generation of manufacturing technology. M7 made a commitment of $250,000 in cost share to the program.
The Youngstown Business Incubator is partially funded through the Ohio Department of Development Edison Incubator Program and through the Ohio Third Frontier Program’s Entrepreneurial Signature Program. Through the JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network, YBI provides start-up assistance throughout the 21 counties of northeast Ohio.