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Indiana to Accelerate R&D, Skills Training at New Smart Manufacturing Center

INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 28, 2020) – Indiana will launch a new smart manufacturing hub next year to support the long-term growth of the state’s manufacturing industry, which is a key driver of Indiana’s economy. The new facility, which Governor Eric J. Holcomb first announced in May under the Economic Activity Stabilization and Enhancement (EASE) initiative, will be home to GE Additive’s state-of-the-art Binder Jet technology, allowing innovators, startups and manufacturers to advance research and development (R&D) and 21st century skills training in smart manufacturing. 

“Every day, Indiana manufacturers are developing safe, reliable and innovative products that help power the world,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger. “As new trends and technologies change the state of today’s manufacturing industry, Indiana is focused on partnering with forward-thinking organizations like GE Additive and advancing strategic initiatives to propel long-term growth in manufacturing and equip Hoosiers with the industry-focused skills and training needed for the future.”

The new facility, Emerging Manufacturing Collaboration Center (EMC2), will be located at the 16 Tech Innovation District and is expected to open by summer 2021. EMC2 will allow new and existing manufacturers to utilize state-of-the-art equipment, including GE Additive’s Binder Jet technology, to train employees, conduct third-party pilot manufacturing and increase awareness of products and software applications. Additionally, GE Additive will extend its Binder Jet Beta program at the facility, collaborating with Indiana businesses and industry and academic partners to fuel Binder Jet-enabled R&D in additive manufacturing, factory automation, advanced software development and manufacturing readiness.

“We’re excited by the opportunity presented to us by the state of Indiana,” said GE Additive Chief Technology Officer Christine Furstoss. “Binder jet is one of the most dynamic areas within additive manufacturing today, and one that the automotive and mobility industry in particular is watching closely. Given Indiana’s strong automotive manufacturing focus, we have high hopes that this partnership will tap into its abundant seam of innovation and spark new forward-thinking applications – especially in fields of automation and software development.”

According to GE Additive, binder jetting is a family of 3-D printing technologies in which a print head moves across a bed of powder and deposits a liquid binding agent in the shape of a section to be built, bonding these areas together to form parts one layer at a time. When complete, the bound parts are removed from the unbound powder. Materials commonly used in binder jetting are metals, ceramics and sand.  

“Collaboration with industry sits at the very core of our strategy,” said GE Additive Innovation Leader Josh Mook. “We deliberately set out to identify a select group of strategic partners that could help us develop a real-world solution. It’s critically important that when we bring our solution to market next year it can deliver value from day one. Our beta partnership program is already paying dividends in many ways. Now, we’re now looking to extend that industry collaboration. Through the R&D partnership with the state, we’ll create a test bed to work with partners, customers, startups and SMEs in Indiana and further afield to develop additive-centric innovation and real-world solutions.”

EMC2 and GE Additive will host a virtual industry day on Dec. 8 to give interested manufacturers and stakeholders a first look at plans for the facility. The event will allow Indiana companies to witness demonstrations of the company’s Binder Jet technology, participate in industry-focused workshops and discuss potential projects at the facility. Click here to register and learn more about the industry day. 

EMC2 is part of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s $10 million EASE initiative designed to stimulate manufacturing investments that will position Hoosier operations, and the sector overall, for future growth and prosperity. The $3 million in funding for this facility was approved through the state’s 21st Century Research & Technology Fund (21 Fund), which makes direct investments into Indiana startups and supports public-private partnerships to advance technology development and commercialization.

Indiana is a leader in manufacturing, with 8,500 manufacturing facilities and the highest concentration of manufacturing jobs in the nation. With more than 500 automotive suppliers and five original equipment manufacturer (OEM) companies, Indiana supports the second largest automotive sector by GDP in the U.S., producing more than 1.3 million cars and light trucks annually.

About GE Additive
GE Additive – part of GE (NYSE: GE) is a world leader in additive design and manufacturing, a pioneering process that has the power and potential to transform businesses. Through our integrated offering of additive experts, advanced machines and quality materials, we empower our customers to build innovative new products. Products that solve manufacturing challenges, improve business outcomes and help change the world for the better. GE Additive includes additive machine providers Concept Laser and Arcam EBM; along with additive material provider AP&C.

About IEDC
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) leads the state of Indiana’s economic development efforts, helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Governed by a 15-member board chaired by Governor Eric J. Holcomb, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.  

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 FM WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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