Today, IMEC, a member of the MEP National Network, launched the Illinois Manufacturing Innovation Voucher for small and medium-sized manufacturers to accelerate technology adoption in their products and processes. Presented with $25,000 matching fund awards, Illinois manufacturers will acquire knowledge from industry experts to help resolve minor technological issues or outline possible solutions for a more complex problem. Projects are expected to be practical in nature and focus on productivity improvements and/or product development that lead to substantive results.
Illinois is a U.S. manufacturing powerhouse that generates $304.8 billion in annual output according to a recent Illinois Manufacturers' Association study. The manufacturing base is built on supply chains of small and mid-sized manufacturers, which represent 99% of the sector. These companies continue to be at the heart of communities across the state. Yet, many of these manufacturers are challenged to acquire the necessary expertise and funding to adopt new technologies. These same technologies are vital to transform and modernize their operations.