Cleveland State University

Entrepreneurial Manufacturer Digitization Support (EMDiS) Center of Excellence

Cleveland, OH

Venture Challenge

Federal Share: $599,998
Local Match: $616,790

Cleveland State University (CSU) seeks to establish a digital manufacturing Center of Excellence, the Entrepreneurial Manufacturer Digitization Support (EMDiS) Center, that will bring state-of-the-art digital manufacturing tools to small manufacturers. Smaller manufacturers, specifically Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers, are being squeezed by increasingly stringent supplier compliance and quality requirements, combined with competition from foreign markets that have high adoption of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)/Industry 4.0 technologies. The proposed CoE will address the gap small manufacturing companies face when considering, acquiring, and implementing cost-effective digital manufacturing technologies, helping them to become more productive, agile, and resilient even in the face of economic challenges and supply chain disruption.

The EMDiS Center of Excellence at CSU will consist of faculty and labs from CSU’s engineering and business colleges, supported by MAGNET’s core of 20 manufacturing experts. Services provided to client companies will include 1) evaluation of cost reduction and revenue generation opportunities in their company/market space made possible by digital design and operational technologies; 2) development of a “Digital Transformation Plan” with a step-by-step strategy for the client company to cost-effectively adopt Industry 4.0 technologies; and 3) “Try Before You Buy” evaluation of digital design tools and Industry 4.0 technologies in CSU’s labs, at MAGNET’s Manufacturing Technology Experience, and on a client’s own factory floor.

By the end of five years, CSU anticipates that EMDiS will advise 15 companies on IIoT adoption projects and create or retain 100 regional jobs.