I-69 Thumb Region Launches Industry 4.0 Initiative

Shiawassee County –The Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership (SEDP) is pleased to be working with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Region 6 Economic Development partners, Automation Alley and the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center on the launch of the I-69 Thumb Region’s Industry 4.0 initiative. 

The MEDC I4.0 initiative is intended to help drive Industry 4.0 readiness in small and mid-sized manufacturers statewide and ensure that 50 percent of Michigan manufacturers are prepared to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies at some level by 2025.  MEDC awarded 10 grants to non-profit organizations and educational institutions in Michigan in order to meet its objectives.

The I-69 Thumb Region covering Genesee, Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair, and Tuscola counties was awarded $138,000.  The Region 6 partnership includes the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County which will manage the project and serve as fiduciary, along with the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, Huron County Economic Development Corporation, Lapeer Development Corporation, Sanilac Economic Development Corporation, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, and Tuscola Economic Development Corporation.

The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center is currently conducting assessments of I4.0 readiness with area manufacturers and also will be collaborating with Region 6 partners on the project.

The year-long I-69 Thumb Region Industry 4.0 initiative kicks off this week with a short survey to I-69 Thumb area manufacturers to gain valuable feedback, followed by additional activities, demonstration events and outreach that will occur throughout the year.  The effort will provide engaged companies with the opportunity for training grant funding for new employees and upskilling existing employees on 14.0 technologies.           

“There are several key benefits for our region’s manufacturers to implement Industry 4.0 changes to their business operations,” said Justin Horvath, President/CEO of the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership.  “Smart factory changes can reduce material waste, create efficiencies, and increase production.”

I-69 Thumb Region Industry 4.0 Grant Committee Members include:

Dan Casey, Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County

Tyler Rossmaessler, Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce

Carl Osentoski, Huron and Sanilac County Economic Development Corporation

Justin Horvath, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership

Stephen Erickson, Tuscola County Economic Development Corporation