The Quad Cities Manufacturing Innovation Hub is seeking applicants for free one-on-one assistance developing plans to implement emerging technologies critical to a business’ operations.  Valued at an average of $10,000 per project, the consultation and resulting implementation plan will be provided at no cost as part of the Illinois Defense Industry Adjustment (DIA) Program, of which the Hub is a part. Funding is also available to help a business develop a plan to diversify their customer base, products, or services.

During the process, the consultant will work one-on-one with the company for input in order to formulate recommendations specific to the business’ desired implementation. The plan could define the project scope as well as required resources for implementation, including personnel, skillsets, hardware, software, and funding.  

Technologies eligible for implementation include:

  • Additive manufacturing
  • Augmented reality/virtual reality
  • Automation/robotics
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data analytics
  • Market diversification (expansion of customers and/or products/services)

Only one project will be selected per category.  Companies will receive their implementation plan by Feb. 15, 2018.  

Qualifying businesses must be:

  • a prime contractor with the Dept. of Defense, or 
  • a sub-tier supplier to a prime contractor with the Dept. of Defense, and
  • located in Scott, Clinton, Muscatine, Jackson, or Cedar Counties in Iowa, or Rock Island, Whiteside, Henry, Mercer, or Knox Counties in Illinois.

To apply for consideration, please email no later than Friday, Dec. 29.  Businesses should include a brief description of a technology or market diversification project they wish to implement.

Funding for the scholarships is provided by the Illinois Defense Industry Adjustment Program. The Illinois DIA Program supports the state’s defense and manufacturing industries by delivering resources and providing new insights that help companies and communities grow, diversify, and become more resilient. The Illinois DIA Program covers five communities considered to be at high risk to market force changes due to their ties to the defense industry, a high concentration of manufacturers or both. Areas include the Quad Cities, Rockford, Northeastern Illinois, Peoria and Southwestern Illinois.

With funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA), the program is executed through a partnership between the University of Illinois System, the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, and the Voorhees Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

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