1, May 2015

The Word is Out: New Institutes Build Innovation in Manufacturing

Manufacturing is vital to our U.S. economy.  However, the word ‘manufacturing’ sometimes isn’t enough to catch the general public’s eye, which is why innovation has become the new buzzword for our industry.

In the past year, the U.S. has launched two new manufacturing innovation institutes. These institutes are designed to bring manufacturers and leading researchers together, encouraging collaboration in an effort to improve our country’s current manufacturing capabilities.  With their innovative work, we can entice more companies to build manufacturing facilities in the U.S.

Here’s a little more about these two innovative facilities, and something to stimulate your innovation culture. 

Lightweight & Modern Manufacturing Innovative Institute (LM3I)

Established this past February in Detroit, MI, the LM3I is led by the Edison Welding Institute (EWI), in partnership with a selection of Michigan businesses and universities. The companies include some of the world’s best aluminum, titanium and high-strength steel manufacturers.  The universities’ staff and students are actively building the current landscape of technology development and research. The goal is to explore the best possible benefits of lightweight metals and see where they can be used to provide more cost-effective options in other applications.

Digital Manufacturing & Design Innovative Institute (DMDI)

Established at the same time in Chicago, IL, the DMDI received a $70 million research grant from the Department of Defense, with matching funds of $250 million from their partners to support the institute. Some of these major companies include Boeing, Caterpillar and Lockheed Martin, who will be collaborating closely with software developing companies like Microsoft.  These collaborations are geared toward enhancing the digital software capabilities of manufacturers.

Innovation Engineering Management Systems (IEMS)

For any manufacturers looking to embrace a systematic innovative culture, there is the IEMS. This system uses a proven scientific method specifically for increasing the speed of innovation 6 times, while decreasing the risk of failure by 30%, resulting in more profitable products, services, customers, markets and processes.  

Over the last 25 years, the IMES has gone through many Dr. Deming cycles of learning: Plan, Do, Study, Act, especially in large, innovative companies like Nike and Disney, to come out with a reliable, system for innovating in any size company. 

With the implementation of IEMS, your company will have a systematic way to align your mission with innovation objectives, accelerate your innovation with minimal risk, build a quantifiable growth pipeline of products and services, improve your communication and marketing focus, and develop a highly innovative culture which supports and sustains innovation.

For more information about IEMS, click here

About Linda Liebert-Hall

Linda Liebert-Hall serves as the Senior Advisor of Initiatives for Impact Dakota. She is a certified Innovation Engineering Black Belt, one of only 169 individuals in the world with this certification.  You can contact Linda at

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