(Quad Cities) – Quad Cities regional manufacturers and defense industry sectors will soon have teams of people who are passionate about technology working on their behalf to develop guidebooks on the latest technologies impacting the industry today.

The Quad Cities Chamber, through its initiative the Quad Cities Manufacturing Innovation Hub, is launching groups called User Groups in the areas of Additive Manufacturing (3D printing), Virtual and Augmented Reality, Digital Business to Business Marketing Platforms, Automation and Robotics, Integrated Supply Chain, Cyber Security, Data Analytics, Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing.

Manufacturers today are faced with an onslaught of new technologies, and evaluating the impact of the various technologies can be costly and time consuming. User Groups will be charged with developing guidebooks for regional manufacturers to reference as they work to quickly and efficiently evaluate and implement new technologies, giving this region’s largest employment sector a competitive edge.

“We believe that by working together to embrace new technologies, our regional manufacturers and defense industry businesses will be able to get further faster,” says Scott Hutter, Executive Director of the Quad Cities Manufacturing Innovation Hub. “User Groups will break down standard manufacturing processes and reimagine them using the new technologies. This is important because technology is changing the way manufacturers operate, and to continue to thrive, they’ll need to adapt – but they don’t have to do it alone. We’re here to assist with the transition.”

The technologies User Groups will focus on are those that were identified in a months-long study by the Chamber, its consultants and members from industry and higher education, to learn which new technologies will have the most significant impact on the regional economy. This is part of a Technology Roadmap – a tool developed to show where we should direct technology resources as a regional industry cluster. The technology guidebooks will be completed by fourth quarter of 2017.  

“Companies typically like to locate where there are clusters of like industry because they know they’ll have the workforce and resources necessary to support them in the area,” says Liz Murray Tallman, Chief Economic Development Officer, Quad Cities Chamber. “When you look at geographical regions like Silicon Valley or the Research Triangle, these are areas that are known for a certain expertise, and it attracts like companies. By aligning our technology resources and expertise from a regional perspective, we’ll continue to build on our reputation as a center for manufacturing and defense innovation.”

The Chamber is collaborating with several groups throughout the region to launch User Groups, including Western Illinois University – Quad Cities and Eastern Iowa Community College.

In addition to User Groups, the Chamber is also launching a series of peer-to-peer networking gatherings called Hub Huddles. During these casual, bi-monthly meetings, manufacturing executives will meet to discuss areas including business development, sales and marketing.

The Technology Roadmap was paid for by the Department of Defense Defense Industry Adjustment grant awarded to the University of Illinois in 2015. The Quad Cities Chamber is a sub-awardee of this grant. The complete Technology Roadmap can be viewed at More information on the Quad Cities DIA Program can be found at

User Groups are free and open to the public. During the first User Group meetings, members will get an update on the state of technology, learn about the process of developing the guidebook, and network.

Upcoming User Group meeting information:

Additive Manufacturing User Group

Thursday, January 26 and Thursday, February 23

5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Blong Technology Center, Rm. 116

8500 Hillandale Rd., Davenport, IA

Free to attend.

Augmented & Virtual Reality User Group

Thursday, February 7

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

ATEEC Center

201 N. Harrison St., Davenport

Free to attend.

More dates will be announced as they are confirmed.

Upcoming Hub Huddles information:

Friday, February 10

6:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.


3800 Avenue of the Cities, Suite 100, Moline

Free to attend

Friday, February 24

6:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

Grace Engineered Products

1515 E. Kimberly Rd., Davenport

Free to attend

Hub Huddles occur the 2nd and 4th Fridays of every month at the locations shown above.

Click here to register for these events.

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