EMC2 Indiana

= Emerging Manufacturing Collaborative Center for Indiana

One sign of the times is that the most modern technology is permeating America’s heartland. It’s happening with electrical grid modernization, industrial-tech projects, and in this case, digital manufacturing.

On Oct. 28, the state of Indiana announced the upcoming launch of a new smart manufacturing hub to support the long-term growth of the state’s manufacturing industry.

EMC2 and GE Additive, General Electric’s 3D printing division, will host a virtual industry day on Dec. 8 to give interested manufacturers and stakeholders a first look at plans for the facility. Click here to learn more and to register for the event.

GE’s highly-touted Binder Jet 3D printing machine is able to replicate metal components.

The new facility, the Emerging Manufacturing Collaborative Center (EMC2), was first hinted at back in May by Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb as part of the state’s wider Economic Activity Stabilization and Enhancement (EASE) initiative. It will be home to GE Additive’s Binder Jet technology (shown in the video above following its 2018 trade show debut), a technological advancement said to “allow innovators, startups and manufacturers to advance research and development and 21st century skills training in smart manufacturing.”

Part futuristic food hall, part McCormick Place? “Innovation hubs” embrace the popular idea of the shared workspace.—16 Tech rendering

That’s a mouthful, but as core industries like manufacturing continue to mesh with high-tech jargon, its where we’re at. Believing in the benefits of ideas like 3D printed parts are no longer optional as major companies—and governmental agencies—proceed to invest in them on a large scale. The results? We only have renderings and blueprints from startup 16 Tech at the moment, and they look like an interesting fusion of food hall and trade show floor (see above photo). The idea clearly derives some inspiration from “shared workspaces” becoming popularized internationally and in more and more U.S. cities.

The new facility will be located at the 16 Tech Innovation District, centered around Indianapolis, and is expected to open by summer of 2021. EMC2 is part of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s $10 million EASE initiative designed “to stimulate manufacturing investments that will position Hoosier operations, and the sector overall, for future growth and prosperity,” according to a press release from the state issued Thursday.

The $3 million in funding for this facility was approved through the state’s 21st Century Research & Technology Fund (21 Fund), which makes direct investments into Indiana startups and supports public-private partnerships to advance technology development and commercialization.

The 100,000+ square-foot innovation hub, which will “sit in the heart of the 50-acre innovation district,” per 16 Tech, will be known as HqO, a name that both honors the building’s history as the former Indianapolis Water Company and identifies it as the effective headquarters for 16 Tech. HqO is currently under construction and will be home to “a makerspace, an artisan marketplace, and flexible workspace for companies, creators and innovators.”

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