Posts Tagged ‘Innovation’

Innovate or Die

Written by Jim Dunbar, IMEC Marketing Coordinator

Innovate or die.   This may sound like a particularly harsh term but when you look at Toys”R”Us as an example, it rings all too real. They just recently had to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy and are in real danger of completely disappearing from the retail landscape. When you don’t change and adapt, the world passes you by.

You might be asking yourself the question, “Why is this even relevant to me as a manufacturer?”  Here’s the simple bottom line of the matter: Innovation separates successes from catastrophic failures. 

The Little Things that Matter at Work: The Inspiration of Positive Psychology

Written by Maria Moran, IMEC Regional Manager

Given the constant change and challenges we face as leaders, some foundations are so solid that they are truisms. Yet, sometimes we deserve a few reminders.

A Fresh LookPositive Psychology

Survival of the fittest instincts run through us all. We are wired to look for the negative in an effort to protect ourselves. What if we created a culture that trained teams to recognize the positive first? Would solutions be created more efficiently? What if you created a vibrant business by changing the lens that your business is viewed through by its employees?

SIU Releases Reshoring Report for Innovation and Growth

SIU ReshoringOur partners at Southern Illinois University’s Office of Economic and Regional Development recently compiled a report for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

“RESHORING An Opportunity for Innovation and Economic Growth in Southern Illinois” report is linked for your review.

Search Engine Optimization for Manufacturers

North Branch Works and IMEC are co-hosting an upcoming breakfast forum and discussion on Search Engine Optimization for Manufacturers on June 17th. The morning event will be held at WaterSaver Faucet in Chicago and feature web design and social media expertise from Orbit Media.

Why should you care about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Some companies think they’re immune to SEO because you may manufacture a very niche product and don’t have much competition. Why would you need some tech gimmicks to vault your name to the top of a search engine list?

Illinois Assistance for Small Businesses

Jobs for Small Businesses

Advantage Illinois

Advantage Illinois is the Illinois Department of Commerce and Opportunity’s (DCEO) enhanced portfolio of lending and venture capital programs. These programs are designed to provide Illinois small businesses and entrepreneurs with access to to the capital needed to start new companies or expand existing businesses. The $78 million federally-funded program encourages businesses to bring innovative ideas and new products to the market as well as accelerate job creation and economic growth in Illinois. For more information on this program as well as where to apply please click here.

Innovations and Opportunities for Manufacturers, Additive Manufacturers, and Global Producers

Manufacturers - Innovation and Opportunities Join Global Midwest Alliance, San Diego CONNECT and sponsor, Bank of America, for the first program in the Alliance’s 2013 Innovation, Growth and Globalization Industry-Focused Series: Innovations and Opportunities for Manufacturers, Additive Manufacturers, and Global Producers

Why attend? Program attendees will have the opportunity to network with executives from the manufacturing, development, international and finance communities, and learn about specific initiatives to bring manufacturing and industrial projects to developing nations through consulting, project bidding and funding, and private partnerships.

Lean Product Development adds innovative way to design, produce

Lean Product Development and the ability to develop new proprietary products or quickly refine an existing portfolio can be the difference between market stagnation and capitalizing on new growth opportunities. Many companies have the in-house capabilities to develop and commercialize new products, but often need strategic guidance to reduce manufacturing steps, develop prototypes, and ensure that the effort pays back with profitable sales. Companies that utilize a structured approach to new product development have a 400% increased probability of success with new products, 25% increased probability of being first to market, and a 66% reduction in time to market.

Lean Product Development Process

Small Business Innovation Research Program Opportunity

InnovationSmall Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program  applications are now available through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Do you have new ideas, potential new products and services, or opportunities to connect with technology partners related to some of the following research topics? When applying for this unique opportunity, businesses have a chance to submit proposals for innovative ideas. Research topics for this year’s program include:

Manufacturing in America > Data and Trends

Manufacturing in America

NIST-MEP has released a new infographic that uses data visualization to tell the story of manufacturing perceptions vs. reality. It’s a powerful image of the economic and innovation success of “Manufacturing in America” that more people should be aware of.

Manufacturing in America is central to our economic strength and a driver of innovation. Manufacturing jobs are some of the best in the country, yet the public doesn’t perceive them to be. And there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill them. But together we can help tell the real story…”

This and other new infographics are being shared at a time when our nation is really beginning to focus on the importance of industry to our nation’s economy, and will hopefully boost the real perception that manufacturing is alive and thriving!

Make sure you check out the new “Manufacturing in America” infographic on www.nist.gov/mep/mfg-america.cfm!