Automation Alley, Lean Rocket Lab and Lawrence Technological University’s Centrepolis Accelerator launch nation’s first Industry 4.0 Accelerator

TROY, Mich., Feb. 5, 2020—A new Industry 4.0 Accelerator program—the first of its kind in the U.S.—is launching in Michigan with the goal to help small and medium-sized technology and manufacturing companies along their digital transformation journeys.

The Industry 4.0 Accelerator program—lead by Automation Alley with support services from Lean Rocket Lab and Lawrence Technological University’s Centrepolis Accelerator—is a $2.5 million investment fund made possible through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation with $1.3 million currently available for early-stage companies as well as established firms looking to commercialize products, services or technologies within the Industry 4.0 sector.

Industry 4.0, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is known as the convergence of the digital and physical technologies disrupting industry and includes technologies like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, advanced robotics, 3D printing and digital twin.

“Industry 4.0 is challenging the way businesses operate around the globe. It’s no longer a question of whether your company will be affected by the digital transformation but when. We are pleased to partner with Lean Rocket Lab and LTU’s Centrepolis on the Industry 4.0 Accelerator program and are looking forward to investing in innovative companies and Michigan’s future,” said Tom Kelly, executive director and CEO of Automation Alley, a leading technology and manufacturing business association and Industry 4.0 knowledge center based in Troy, Michigan.

“The attraction, development and deployment of the best technologies will help these companies succeed and simultaneously ensure Michigan’s continued role as the epicenter of advanced manufacturing,” added Brandon Marken, founder and CEO of Lean Rocket Lab, a Jackson, Michigan-based manufacturing and tech-focused startup accelerator and incubator.

Companies involved in the program will receive direct investment and business coaching services to help spur innovation, commercialization and growth. The accelerator is also looking for larger firms and organizations to partner on this effort and support Industry 4.0 adoption for Michigan manufacturers.

Services will be customized to meet the needs of each participating company, including potential pilot and demonstration project funding support with customers and strategic partners, potential connections to product development partnerships with customers and strategic partners, individualized training and mentorship, company growth assessments, technical and business milestone progress planning, strategic plan development, assessing management team and talent needs, investment and fundraising strategy support, potential connections to investors and capital sources, shared workspace opportunities and more.

“There is simply no better location for an Industry 4.0 Accelerator than in the heart of the world’s most important advanced manufacturing market—Michigan!” said Dan Radomski, Director, Centrepolis Accelerator.

“The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is proud to support the Industry 4.0 Accelerator program,” said Nadia Abunasser, Federal and Development Projects Director for the MEDC. “The addition of this program will ensure high-tech manufacturing startups across Michigan have access to the resources they need to take their projects from ideation to commercialization, solidifying Michigan as a leader in entrepreneurship and innovation while continuing to build on our manufacturing heritage.”

For more information or to apply, contact John Bedz, Automation Alley’s special programs manager, at bedzj@automationalley.com.

About Automation Alley
Automation Alley is Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center, with a global outlook and a regional focus. Our programs give companies a competitive advantage by helping them along every step of their digital transformation journey. We obsess over disruptive technologies like AI, the Internet of Things and automation, and work hard to make these complex concepts easier for companies to understand and implement. As a nonprofit technology and manufacturing business association, we connect industry, academia and government to fuel Michigan’s economy and accelerate innovation. The mission of Automation Alley is to position Michigan as a global leader in Industry 4.0 by helping our members increase revenue, reduce costs and make strategic decisions during a time of rapid technological change. Visit automationalley.com.

About Lean Rocket Lab
The Lean Rocket Lab is a Jackson, Michigan based business incubator and member of the state-wide MEDC SmartZone Business Incubator Ecosystem through an agreement with the Enterprise Group of Jackson County and the Blackman Township SmartZone. The Lab exists to offer entrepreneurial services and provides business validation, incubation and accelerator programming to manufacturing/technology focused startups and support high tech innovation in the State. Visit leanrocketlab.info.

About Centrepolis
The Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University is accelerating the growth of Southeast Michigan’s advanced manufacturing, innovative hardware entrepreneurs and small manufacturers by providing access to funding, experts and key business and product development resources. Visit centrepolisaccelerator.com.

About MEDC
MEDC’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation initiative establishes Michigan as the place to create and grow a business by providing high-tech startup companies with access to a variety of critical resources, such as funding and expert counsel, from ideation to maturation. For more on MEDC’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation visit michiganbusiness.org/entrepreneurship.

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Automation Alley announces details of 2020 Technology in Industry Report and Reveal event on April 27

TROY, Mich.—February 3, 2020—Automation Alley, Michigan’s leading technology and manufacturing business association and Industry 4.0 knowledge center, is set to release its 2020 Technology in Industry Report, a guide to Industry 4.o implementation, at the Technology in Industry Reveal at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham on Monday, April 27, 2020 from 7:30 to 11 a.m. The event will include a strolling breakfast and the opportunity to network with an anticipated 300 technology and manufacturing professionals as they explore the smart and connected technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

New this year are hands-on demonstration areas where attendees can experience Industry 4.0 technologies including collaborative robotics, augmented reality, digital strategy and artificial intelligence from Behco, OPS Solutions/Light Guide Systems, Worksighted, Soothsayer and other companies to be announced. Back by popular demand are a series of Tech Talks where regional and national leaders in Industry 4.0 will share their digital transformation journeys.

All attendees will receive a copy of Automation Alley’s 2020 Technology in Industry Report, Seeing Industry 4.0 through a 2020 Lens. This year’s report will include case studies and white papers written in collaboration with academic and industry leaders on Industry 4.0 trending topics impacting companies today, including:

• The rise of AI
• 5G: An Industry 4.0 game-changer
• The convergence of IT and OT
• Building a strong supply chain with Big Data
• How Industry 4.0 transforms data regulation & protection
• The impact of digital twins
• Additive manufacturing trends
• Industry 4.0 & the global workforce
• And more

“As Automation Alley continues to position Michigan as a global leader in Industry 4.0, we are pleased to again host the Technology in Industry Reveal and discuss how these trends are impacting people, processes and technology now and in the near future,” Tom Kelly, Automation Alley executive director and CEO, said. “With rapidly evolving Industry 4.0 technologies and research, this year’s event promises to be both insightful and motivational for companies seeking a competitive edge with their own digital transformation.”

For information on exhibitor or sponsorship opportunities, contact Automation Alley Sales Manager Kristin O’Neill oneillk@automationalley.com. To register for the April 27 event, visit https://automationalley.com/techreveal.

About Automation Alley
Automation Alley is Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center, with a global outlook and a regional focus. Our programs give companies a competitive advantage by helping them along every step of their digital transformation journey. We obsess over disruptive technologies like AI, the Internet of Things and automation, and work hard to make these complex concepts easier for companies to understand and implement. As a nonprofit technology and manufacturing business association, we connect industry, academia and government to fuel Michigan’s economy and accelerate innovation. Visit automationalley.com.

Our Mission
The mission of Automation Alley is to position Michigan as a global leader in Industry 4.0 by helping our members increase revenue, reduce costs and think strategically during a time of rapid technological change.
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