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Title: Final Performance Progress Report

The Accelerator has given the DVIRC an opportunity to get involved in areas of a small and medium-sized manufacturing business that MEP centers typically do not get involved in—the areas of technology development and technical issues. Over the course of the project we’ve come to gain some valuable insights into the market challenges of SMEs, and the market challenges an MEP (such as DVIRC) faces as it seeks to work more deeply and at faster pace on the technology-related aspects of a manufacturing business. For example, while most companies can quantitatively justify investing in an ERP system or a new piece of production equipment, SMEs often struggle with formulating a return-on-investment for advanced technologies. As another example, bringing advanced technology to a company through the individuals interested in the technology (such as engineers or technicians) is not the way to go; as with many MEP services, we need to get to the CEO. And even then, there is a strong reluctance to let outsiders in to these often proprietary areas of the business. As a result of our work in this area, we are now looking more closely at how CEOs that DO invest in advanced technologies justify the investmentmore » or make the investment decision. We’ve learned about some of the internal constraints in SMEs that need to be kept in mind as projects get defined and executed—where technical personnel often hinder conversations in this arena rather than contributing value to them. We’ve gained exposure to a new suite of public and private assets that can help us with this work, such as universities and agencies such as NASA. We have also developed relationships with design/engineering companies that can help us as we move more deeply into this area of a company,. Still, defining a technical project takes a huge amount of effort and resources and, once undertaken, has a much longer time trajectory than typical MEP projects. DVIRC field staff and content experts have learned more about assessing a company’s technical assets, broadening our view of the business to go beyond what they make or what NAICS code they have…to better understand their capacity, capability, and expertise, and to learn more about THEIR customers. Knowing more about the markets they serve can often provide insight into their level of technical knowledge and sophistication. Finally, in the spirit of realizing the intent of the Accelerator we strove to align and integrate the work and activities supported by the five funding agencies to leverage each effort. To that end, we include in the Integrated Work Plan a graphic that illustrates that integration. What follows is our summary report of the project, aggregated from prior reports.« less
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  1. Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center, Philadelphia, PA (United States)
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
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Related Information: N/A
Research Org:
Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center, Philadelphia, PA (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States
99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS Additive manufacturing; composite materials; technology development; and SME's