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Program Category # of Grants per state Sum of EDA $
Planning 3 $160,000
Technical Assistance 1 $116,667
Grand Total 4 $276,667

Connecticut faces economic difficulties, from the consolidation and relocation of major regional employers, an aging workforce, and the outmigration of college graduates. Increased demand in the aerospace and shipbuilding industries has the potential to improve the economic climate in the state, but major challenges exist. For example, the three top challenges identified by aerospace industry leaders in the U.S., are a shortage of skilled workers, lack of innovation in their supply chain, and pressures due to globalization.

In FY 2018, EDA awarded $116,667 in Technical Assistance funds to the University of Connecticut for the development of the Connecticut Manufacturing Simulation Center (CMSC). CMSC will be located in a region with a strong commitment to sustaining the advanced manufacturing ecosystem to promote economic growth and synergies for the next generation by providing specialized training in modeling and simulation for manufacturing to over 850 participants.

The project will increase the capabilities of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in computational modeling and simulation technologies as a means to cultivate innovation, develop a high-skilled workforce, and expand regional businesses. Intense global competition has accelerated the pace of innovation and created new demands on SMEs, which often have limited or no research and development resources to manufacture improved products under compressed production cycles. CMSC recognizes that computational design, modeling and simulation using high-performance computing (HPC) can lower the cost of new product design and development, and enhance product testing and validation processes for virtually all manufacturing companies. CMSC will provide SMEs a shared technical assistance resource for computer-based design, development, testing, and validation that is capable of supporting new product development and innovation and improving SME competitiveness in the global economy. In addition, CMSC workforce development training initiatives will enable SME workforce to attain a higher level of technical literacy in computer-aided design and simulation to promote long-term innovation and business development within SMEs and the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) they supply. The CMSC will leverage the resources of the University in HPC, computer modeling and simulation, and business practices for the benefit of regional SMEs to address the shortage of trained workers, the need for manufacturing innovation, and the high operating cost for manufacturers in the state.

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