Northern Michigan University’s commitment to expand its Invent@NMU program throughout Michigan was published in a White House fact sheet released as part of the National Week of Making. Invent@NMU Founding Director David Ollila also has been invited by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to attend a related Maker-to-Manufacturer Stakeholder event Monday, June 20, in Washington, DC.
“Now that we are receiving national attention at the highest level, we can only imagine that expanding this platform to other areas across the state will drive our cultural change and empower people to move products into the marketplace,” Ollila said.
Invent@NMU, a student-run innovation and manufacturing service, plans to open retail-like invention intake centers strategically located throughout the state. The centers will tie directly to a proposed Rural Manufacturing Alliance that will assist makers as they transition from making one-offs and prototypes into producing small-lot manufacturing runs.
“We knew when we started Invent@NMU in fall 2014 that we had a unique model,” Ollila said. “Our confidence grew as everyday people started walking through our doors with a new idea every three days. Soon after, we gained statewide recognition from the governor, and the platform has been bustling with activity ever since.”
The White House OSTP is exploring steps that will help hobbyists and startups progress from maker to manufacturer. These include technologies to support low-volume production, along with software and hardware tools for designing and prototyping that were previously available only to large manufacturers.
As part of the National Week of Making, Invent@NMU will be among the programs recognized for their roles in promoting a “Nation Of Makers.”
Invent@NMU specializes in helping people bring their concepts to market. Inventors, designers, engineers, entrepreneurs and educators work with clients to turn passions into processes. For more information, visit www.nmu.edu/invent.
For full details on the White House announcements, click here.