The Quad Cities Manufacturing Innovation Hub (the Hub), an initiative of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, is beginning a new study which will result in a technology roadmap that will outline the region’s strengths in manufacturing related technology, and propose which new technologies would be most beneficial for companies in the Quad Cities to adopt. The second study will produce a strategy to diversify the region’s manufacturing supply chain.
“The Quad Cities Manufacturing Innovation Hub focuses in three areas – helping manufacturers improve operations today, prepare for tomorrow, and grow in a sustained fashion that is receptive to new disruptive technologies,” says Curt Burnett, Executive Director, Quad Cities Manufacturing Innovation Hub. “Through the technology roadmap, we will help companies understand what technologies are most likely to impact their particular business and provide training guidance.”
In addition to charting a technology roadmap, the Chamber is also studying the regional supply chain and developing an industry diversification strategy.
“We want to know how dependent local suppliers are on the area’s largest manufacturing firms, and then develop a strategy to help them diversify so that their revenues are based on a large number of customers. This will help regional suppliers be more resilient to changes in the economic climate,” says Burnett.
The Quad Cities Chamber and its consultants will work with regional manufacturers over the next six months to gather data. Following that, the data will be aggregated to provide a snapshot of the region’s strengths and opportunities in technology, as well as areas for diversification.
“As the community conversation around Q2030: A Regional Action Plan continues to take shape, the Chamber is deep in the work of advancing a prosperous economy – one of the core pillars of Q2030,” says Tara Barney, President and CEO, Quad Cities Chamber. “The Quad Cities Manufacturing Innovation Hub is a big part of this work; it’s our strategy to ensure that the region’s largest industry sector stays competitive and diversified, and that the Quad Cities maintains its reputation as leading location in the manufacturing industry.”
In December 2015, the Quad Cities Chamber partnered with the University of Illinois to receive a $5.5 million grant from the Department of Defense (DoD) to support economic revitalization in Illinois and the bi-state Quad cities region. The supply chain mapping is part of the initial phase of the project, involving a comprehensive data-collection initiative that will identify the full scope of defense assets across the state, as well as industries that are part of the military supply chain, including manufacturers.