Month: January 2017

CIRAS SERVICE HIGHLIGHT: Digital Manufacturing

It's here. We've heard the terms thrown around for years: Industry 4.0, Connected Machines, Internet of Things, Industrial Internet. Very quietly, this has all become real - your best customers, competitors, and suppliers have built digital capabilities that change the way they do business. At CIRAS, we group all this effort under the term Digital Manufacturing, defined as the ability to connect different parts of the manufacturing life cycle through data, and to utilize that information to make smarter, more efficient business decisions (source: DMDII).  For those of you that are asking "Does this apply to me?", the answer is simple: Yes.

State of the State – by Liesl Eathington

A previous “State of the State” explored growth in Iowa’s young worker population and the fact that production jobs are a declining fraction of the opportunities available to them. The breadth of those opportunities—or at least workers’ perceptions of what opportunities exist in the labor market—can be glimpsed in trends for post-secondary education.

Resource Spotlight: SBA

There are a vast number of resources available to Iowa businesses. One of the roles of CIRAS is help companies connect with the right one of those resources at the right time.  The Small Business Administration (SBA) is one entity with which CIRAS partners a great deal.

U.S. Dept. of Commerce partners with CIRAS to help Iowa Manufacturers

AMES, Iowa – Iowa manufacturers are projected to receive up to $37 million in research-based, business-improving services over the next 10 years after U.S. Dept. of Commerce officials on Friday moved to renew the department’s longstanding relationship with Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS). The award means CIRAS will continue to serve as Iowa’s affiliate of the National Institute for Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Manufacturers Extension Partnership (MEP), a nationwide network of centers created to enhance the performance of U.S. manufacturing. Through this partnership, CIRAS will continue providing services to help small- to mid-sized manufacturers improve their businesses and will add new services to help all Iowa manufacturers navigate rapidly changing technologies and business models.

Iowa FIRST LEGO® League Close to Top in Per Capita Participation

Iowa now ranks second nationwide in per capita youth membership on a FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team. Yet, even with another year of explosive growth in Iowa youth getting a STEM boost through research and robots, Camille Schroeder, director of K–12 outreach programs at Iowa State University’s College of Engineering, said the participation milestone does not mean that Iowa’s FLL program has stopped recruiting students and mentors. “We want to be able to provide this experience for any youth who wants it,” Schroeder said.