UMass Lowell iHub Hosts Celebration of Manufacturing

Collaborative effort recognizes local manufacturing ecosystem supporters

November 2, 2022 (Lowell, MA) Every October is National Manufacturing Month. It’s a time to celebrate American ingenuity and innovation. Approximately one out of every ten Bay Staters work in manufacturing or related industries.

This year, a group of local organizations convened to celebrate manufacturing with an event held October 18th at the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub (iHub.) The event featured representatives from FORGE, MassCEC, MassMEP, City of Lowell, Middlesex 3, MassHIRE/NAMC, Mass Tech Collaborative, and the iHub itself.

“Early-stage funding of clean energy technologies is key to reaching the prototype and development stage,” said MassCEC’s Chief Program Officer Galen Nelson. “MassCEC is proud to play a part in the early lifecycle of climate innovations and is excited to see these solutions grow. What FORGE offers — connections to critical manufacturing needs — is essential to scaling solutions and helping the Commonwealth meet its climate goals.”

The inaugural Celebration of Manufacturing event had several specific objectives for its guests, primarily manufacturing executives in northeast Massachusetts, including:

  • Connections to resources for manufacturers across the Commonwealth such as grants and workforce training resources.

  • The opportunity to meet other local manufacturing CEOs, business owners and operators, and share best practices.

  • Getting answers to questions on advanced manufacturing.

The evening kicked off with introductions from the organizers, demonstrations, roundtable discussions, and awards recognizing leading members of the community. Demonstrations of cobots from MotionAI, and 3D printers from Hawk Ridge ran throughout the evening. After an opening from FORGE emcee Barbara Finer, and introductions from each of the featured organizations, guests participated in small group discussions such as:

  • Successful collaboration with integrators and startups with Dave McDonald of HSI.

  • Tips and tricks on overcoming supply chain woes, offered by Josh Chernin, Business Improvement Group. 

  • Steve Spiegelberg of the Cambridge Polymer Group hosted: Why working with startups is good for the bottom line.

  • Enhancing operations through energy efficiency with support from MassCEC, with Nate Audette of Eversource.

  • State funding/grants to support manufacturers’ growth, Art Trapotsis, CEO, Consolidated Sterilizer Systems.

  • Building your manufacturing talent pipeline with supportive resources, with Robin Dion and William Ren, Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium and MassHire.

  • Implementing automation to increase capacity for repetitive tasks, with Tyler Modelski of Flexxbotics.

After the roundtables, the group reconvened for the highlight of the evening, the presentation of several awards.  The categories and winners were:

  • Manufacturing Innovator of the Year – Nth Cycle (Beverly, MA)

  • Additive Manufacturing Innovation Award – 6K (North Andover, MA)

After the awards, attendees were able to rejoin the roundtable discussions or participate in additional networking.

Gallery of Award Winners

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