CWRU, partners honored for work on manufacturing innovation center

Case Western Reserve University and area partners won Team Northeast Ohio’s 2013 Asset Creation award for helping to land the nation’s first manufacturing innovation hub—the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute—in Youngstown.

The award is given to the team that brings the best, innovative job-creating asset to the region.

The institute, referred to as NAMII, opened its doors earlier this year, and users already are investigating ways to make high-tech parts for the aerospace industry, repair heavy equipment and more using additive manufacturing, also known as 3-D printing. The Obama administration chose the region’s proposal from 40 other university-led groups nationwide in in 2012. The federal government put $30 million toward the effort and pledged another $15 million, while public and private partners from Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia have added $40 million.

“Building the assets of a region requires focus, dedication, and strong teamwork,” said Case Western Reserve Provost and Executive Vice President W. A. “Bud” Baeslack III. “I am very pleased that Case Western Reserve University can serve as a leader and partner in important efforts such as the NAMII. It shows the community the high value of bringing anchor institutions together for the greater good.”

NAMII now has more than 75 partners from Connecticut to Texas. Those in Team Northeast Ohio—which markets the 18-county region to new businesses and helps current businesses expand—were singled out for the asset award.

Academic partners include Kent State, Cleveland State and Youngstown State universities, University of Akron, Stark State College and Lorain, Cuyahoga County and Lakeland community colleges.

Among the industry and nonprofit partners are Timken Co., Lubrizol, Goodyear, Swagelok, Parker Hannifin, NASA Glenn, NorTech, JumpStart and the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining.

James McGuffin-Cawley, chair of materials science and engineering and a driver behind the university’s efforts to win the federal designation, said. “This is recognition that a nontraditional government-industrial-university partnership is a unique asset as valuable as a new building, a brownfield recovery or investment in a research and development center.”