Partnership to Enhance Innovation, Resilience and Agility in Missouri’s Manufacturers

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Responding to Critical Needs

Overcoming the most pressing challenges facing Missouri manufacturers by partnering together.

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Responding to Critical Needs for MO Manufacturers

The Partnership to Enhance Innovation, Resilience and Agility in Missouri's Manufacturers (Partnership) leverages the expertise of faculty and students on the four UM campuses to serve the state's manufacturers through education, topic-focused roundtable discussions, and company-specific projects. Missouri manufacturing struggled during the pandemic and continue to face pressing challenges with the supply chain, job recruitment and retention, the development of more efficient production processes, and more. The Partnership was created to address the needs of the more than 5,400 Missouri manufacturers – both urban and rural – by bringing UM resources to the manufacturing companies that need them.

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    UM System Manufacturer Roundtables

    The UM System Manufacturer Partnership Roundtable Series brings together manufacturers from across Missouri to discuss pressing challenges facing the industry and learn from invited experts. Virtual roundtables will be held once a month and are free to attend. Roundtable topics are decided by participating manufacturers and could include cyber security, machine learning, supply chain/logistics, workforce issues, automation, resilience, plant layout, and joint opportunities for product and technology development.

    Upcoming Roundtables:

    • November: Growing Your Workforce. This roundtable will focus on two strategies to grow and strengthen your workforce— apprenticeships and continuing education/growth from within.
    • December: Navigating Universities. This roundtable will focus on how to navigate local universities from recruiting students and recent graduates for your workforce to setting up company-specific projects with faculty.

    Please use the Event section below to register for upcoming roundtables.

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    Manufacturer Specific Projects

    The Partnership budget includes a total of $250,000 in matching funds to support UM faculty, subject matter experts and students to work on projects that aid the success of your business. University Teams from any of the four UM campuses can be deployed for company-specific projects to enhance competitiveness and resilience. Companies can request up to a 50% match in funding from the Partnership. Missouri-owned manufacturers started within the past five years with less than $750,000 annual revenue can request a reduced match. Projects are selected based on fit with EDA grant guidelines, available funding, and impact. Please see full project information.

    Example available projects:

    • Assessments in: Automation, Supply Chain, Cost Savings, Ergonomics, Process Improvement, Data Analytics, Environmental Impact, Quality Assurance, Energy Evaluation, and more;
    • Custom leadership, management and employee trainings;
    • Lean manufacturing in production processes;
    • Computer Science Projects: Cyber security; VR/AR environments, artificial intelligence, sensor technology, software engineering, media post-production, web application development;
    • Engineering Design and Prototyping;
    • Technology exploration and cost assessments for 3-D printing and more.

    Project funds cannot be used for:

    • Acquisition of physical assets by companies, including machinery, new software purchases, etc.;
    • Private consulting fees.

    Please use this form to describe what kind of assistance you need or to provide detail on the specific challenge you are facing. Partnership staff will then consult with you for further information and identify UM System resources to assist.

    Project inquiry form

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    Connections with UM System

    Looking to connect with one of the four University of Missouri campuses? Our team is available to help you navigate and make the appropriate connections for your company’s needs within the University of Missouri system. We can assist with connecting to senior design and capstone courses for industry projects, employer relations and career fairs, faculty with content-area expertise, lab spaces, and more. Connect with us to learn more.

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University of Missouri Extension has been awarded funding from the US Economic Development Administration for an 18-month statewide pilot project to take the resources of the UM System to the state's manufacturers. This Partnership uses Federal funds under award 05-79-06062 URI 115939 from the EDA Cares Act Recovery Assistance, U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, finding, conclusions and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the EDA Cares Act Recovery Assistance or the U.S. Department of Commerce