CESMII – the Smart Manufacturing Institute constitutes the USA equivalent of manufacturing initiatives found in Germany, Italy, China, and many other countries. I’m glad to see CEO John Dyck popping up in panels with Industrie 4.0 and other international conferences. We are in a strange geopolitical/business vortex right now where some countries have realized (in the US case—belatedly realized) that manufacturing is strategic for national survival yet businesses (as they have from the beginnings of civilization) have realized that they must engage with international trade for their survival.

While the world’s peoples sort all of this out, rest assured that there exists a US national initiative to promote smart manufacturing. Below is some new information. Perhaps you, too, can submit an RFP.

RFP to Create Industry-Vertical / Technology-Horizontal Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centers 

CESMII – the Smart Manufacturing Institute has announced a new Request for Proposals (RFP) to expand the network of Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centers (“SMICs”). These are a collection of visible, credible, high value, regional extensions of CESMII. Each SMIC works as a partner organization with CESMII, with strong industry engagement and core competencies related to a key industry vertical (i.e., steel, automotive, chemical processing, discrete manufacturing, etc.) and/or a technology horizontal (i.e., artificial intelligence and machine learning, new sensing and wireless data communications, process control algorithms and predictive models, etc.). 

Through this RFP, CESMII seeks to strategically expand its SMIC network through the addition of new SMIC partner organizations. These new SMIC organizations will benefit from their CESMII partnership in many ways: 

  • Increased national and global leadership as a Smart Manufacturing Innovation Center. 
  • Expanded portfolio and capabilities with access to industry-leading Smart Manufacturing (SM) 

technology, knowledge and thought leadership. 

  • CESMII-funded SMIC operating budget to implement SM technologies around existing assets. 
  • CESMII-provided SMIC Operating Kit to increase the return on investment of industry 

engagements and deepen the exposure to the manufacturing ecosystem. 

  • A dedicated instance of the SM Innovation Platform (SMIP) and relevant software applications to showcase the SMIC organization’s manufacturing assets and competencies and demonstrate its integration with SMIC manufacturing assets to create testbeds. This will further increase the SMIC’s visibility and engagement with industry. 
  • Potential to host membership Application Projects (self-funded) and lead working groups aligned to SMIC’s capabilities. 
  • Additional opportunities for publication, promotion, and outreach. 
  • Expanded Education and Workforce Development and membership-engagement opportunities. 

“Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centers are one of several strategic initiatives to highlight the state-of- the-art in SM’s impact on energy productivity, quality, throughput, costs/profitability, safety, and asset reliability, in manufacturing environments,” explained John Dyck, CEO of CESMII. “CESMII is excited to establish this ecosystem to exemplify and espouse the characteristics, capabilities and behaviors consistent with the 4th Industrial Revolution. We are encouraging Universities, Colleges, Vocational Schools and industry Centers of Excellence to apply for our SMIC funding and become part of this exciting new ecosystem.” 

Up to $1M in federal funding is being made available through this RFP. Selected SMIC candidates will need to provide matching funds to bring the total RFP value up to $2M. CESMII anticipates selecting 3 to 10 SMIC candidates with a performance period of 16 months. 

CESMII is the United States’ national institute on Smart Manufacturing, driving cultural and technological transformation and secure industrial technologies as national imperatives. By enabling frictionless movement of information – raw and contextualized data – between real-time Operations and the people and systems that create value in and across Manufacturing organizations, CESMII is ensuring the power of information and innovation is at the fingertips of everyone who touches manufacturing. 

Founded in 2016, in partnership with Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), CESMII is the third institute funded by EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. The Institute is accelerating Smart Manufacturing (SM) adoption through the integration of advanced sensors, data (ingestion – contextualization – modeling – analytics), platforms and controls to radically impact manufacturing performance, through measurable improvements in areas such as: quality, throughput, costs/profitability, safety, asset reliability and energy productivity. CESMII’s program and administrative home is with the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

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