The event focused on Goodwin-Bradley’s support from the Manufacturing Innovation Challenge – part of a $2.9 Million Federal Grant supporting manufacturing innovation in RI
November 14, 2016 – PROVIDENCE, RI – Today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed and RI Governor Gina Raimondo visited Goodwin-Bradley, a Providence manufacturer who has received a Strategic Assessment award through the Manufacturing Innovation Challenge, a program of Polaris MEP and part of a comprehensive program funded by a $2.9 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to RI Commerce Corporation. The roundtable discussion and tour highlighted Goodwin-Bradley’s current strategy for growth, which has been advanced with the Strategic Assessment. Goodwin-Bradley is a 104-year old, family-owned company that manufacturers complex 3D surface compression molds and prototypes for a variety of industries including medical, nuclear and aerospace. Applications for the next round of Manufacturing Innovation Challenge awards are now open – (Apply Here)
“Rhode Island has a strong defense and manufacturing industry, and Goodwin-Bradley is a prime example of this,” stated U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a member of both the Armed Services and Appropriations Committees. “We need to constantly look ahead and ensure we’re preparing for the future, and programs like the Manufacturing Innovation Challenge are bringing to bear opportunities for these industries to continue to thrive. I am pleased to see the work of this innovative program, and I will continue working to provide critical resources to help companies like Goodwin-Bradley seize new opportunities.”
Goodwin-Bradley is one of 32 manufacturers awarded through the Manufacturing Innovation Challengeprogram in August of this year. The Challenge is a competitive opportunity for RI manufacturers to access expertise and hands-on design and product development talent to stimulate business growth, innovation and strategic advancement. It is the state’s most significant investment in Rhode Island’s manufacturing sector currently, thanks to federal funds through Rhode Island Commerce Corporation.
“The Manufacturing Innovation Challenge is a game changer for many manufacturers who have taken part in the program to date,” said Rhode Island Governor, Gina Raimondo. “We’re proud to be working with manufacturers such as Goodwin-Bradley, and we are very excited about Goodwin-Bradley’s expansion and growth endeavors. My team at Commerce RI will continue to work with Polaris MEP and others to bring together some of the top talent and expertise in the state, and infuse innovation in the manufacturing sector.”
“Polaris MEP has been happy to work with Goodwin-Bradley for many years, assisting in their evolution as a manufacturer in Rhode Island,” said Christian Cowan, Center Director for Polaris MEP. “And so, we were very excited to have yet another opportunity to help them in their business efforts through the Manufacturing Innovation Challenge. This program brought Goodwin-Bradley a world-class experts from multiple disciplines and tangible recommendations to move forward. We look forward to continuing this work with Goodwin-Bradley and the many other manufacturers taking part in the Challenge.”
“For a small manufacturer like us, programs through Polaris MEP are incredibly helpful in our continued growth,” said Robert Goodwin, President of Goodwin-Bradley. “This Manufacturing Innovation Challenge program helped us access consultants that we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise, who helped us see things that we hadn’t seen. Their observations have been very useful to us as we look to how we will grow in the next few years.”
Awards from the first Manufacturing Innovation Challenge application round totaled nearly $700,000. Goodwin-Bradley received a Phase One Strategic Assessment. In this Phase, manufacturers get access to a top team of experts who evaluate the manufacturers’ current innovation landscape. This deep dive into the company involves over 75 hours of expert consulting led through strategic design facilitation. The deliverable is innovative ideas and actionable recommendations for business growth.
Manufacturers who complete Phase One can then be eligible for Phase Two Growth Implementation projects, to be awarded again in early 2017. With ideas and recommendations in hand from the prior phase, companies may access funding to support implementation plans for business development and innovation.
Applications are now open for a second round of competitive opportunities in the Manufacturing Innovation Challenge program for Phase One Strategic Assessments. Awards are available to qualifying RI manufacturers with a defense focus. Deadline is November 23, 2016 at 12:00 pm. For questions, contact Polaris MEP at 401-270-8896 or email [email protected].
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About Polaris MEP
Polaris MEP is a statewide non-profit organization that provides competitive manufacturing business improvement programs to grow Rhode Island’s manufacturing industry. Polaris is an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Program (NIST MEP) and a business unit of the University of Rhode Island Research Foundation. Since 1996 Polaris has delivered improvement solutions to more than 750 Rhode Island manufacturers to help them achieve sustainable and profitable growth.