Eligible UP manufacturers can apply for Industry 4.0 Technology Implementation Grants

InvestUP and the Manufacturing Growth Alliance say the technological investments could help fill labor gaps assist with competition
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 5:55 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Right now, small manufacturers across the Upper Peninsula are looking to become better through technology.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is looking to give businesses a technological boost. That could be artificial intelligence, cybersecurity or robotics. InvestUP CEO Marty Fittante says grants for Industry 4.0 Technology Implementation could help fill labor gaps.

“Technology can actually be your friend here and help to minimize the challenge that you’re facing because of that labor shortage,” said Fittante.

Grant applications opened this month. They are for small manufacturers, defined by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code and recognized by the Small Business Administration. The manufacturers could earn up to $25,000 for technological investments of at least $50,000.

“Manufacturing moves at a fast pace, and there are a lot of competitors out there,” said Jenn Deamud, the executive director of the Manufacturing Growth Alliance (MGA). “Industry 4.0 helps manufacturers streamline their processes and produce more at a faster pace.”

The MEDC has $3,000,000 in industry 4.0 grant money for the state. The MGA was given $1.3 million of that to distribute 45 implementation grants in the U.P. and three lower Michigan regions. Deamud and Fittante encourage U.P. applicants.

“We’re not taking advantage of the opportunity that’s in front of us,” Fittante said. “There’s state dollars that can help Upper Peninsula manufacturers defray some costs and deploy some technology that could be really helpful.”

“We are starting to reach out to our key partners to make sure that we have a significant outreach to small manufacturers in the Upper Peninsula to access these funds,” Deamud said.

If you are eligible and want to apply, go to the MEDC website.

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