CWRU joins Northeast Ohio colleges in effort to advise local manufacturers

Small- and mid-sized manufacturing firms often fail to make that next big leap because they don’t have access to the latest technology, marketing and innovative research.

It’s that know-how and knowledge that Case Western Reserve University can and will provide such companies through a new collaboration announced Tuesday.

To help advance the region as a leading manufacturing center and boost job growth, Case Western Reserve—with Cleveland State University, Lorain County Community College and the University of Akron—have agreed to work with and advise small- to mid-sized local manufacturers through a Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET) program.

“From Case Western Reserve,” said William A. “Bud” Baeslack III, the university’s provost and executive vice president, “we will bring the expertise, capabilities and resources of faculty, staff and students from across the campus, from our schools of engineering and management, and our major interdisciplinary research centers that perform world-class research in advanced materials and manufacturing and innovation management.”

MAGNET is a Cleveland-based nonprofit manufacturing consulting service. The program is called Partnership for Regional Innovation Services to Manufacturers, or PRISM.

MAGNET representatives estimated the number of small- to mid-sized manufacturers in Northeast Ohio at about 10,000. Many of the companies are successful, but lack the technical services, marketing capabilities and connections to grow.

The agreements commit the institutions to further regional economic development by helping manufacturers pursue innovative growth strategies and, thereby, create jobs. The collaboration essentially provides a tool chest for local industry to tap into.

“We see our partnership with MAGNET through PRISM,” Baeslack said, “as the opportunity to drive a different conversation and develop a vision for manufacturing in the region that is high-tech, innovation-driven, partnership-enabled and full of incredible possibilities.”