I recently attended an event sponsored by the Women in Manufacturing Association, CT chapter, to tour the Innovation Partnership Building (IPB) at UConn Tech Park in Storrs, a high tech applied research facility that opened in September 2018.
It was a fascinating tour. The IPB is a beautiful state-of-the-art building with extensive sophisticated equipment ranging from electron microscopes to 3D printers to robots and more. It is designed to foster innovative collaborations between UConn faculty experts and businesses of all sizes, from local startups to large global corporations. The facility provides a rich resource in diverse areas of technical expertise and is indicative of UConn’s commitment to supporting economic growth in the State of Connecticut.
An innovative hub we visited during the tour includes the Enterprise Solution Center (ESC), which connects small and medium manufacturing enterprises (SMMEs) to science and engineering resources at UConn and to major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). ESC at the IPB includes two additional centers:
- The Proof of Concept Center (POCC) offers state-of-the-art prototyping and fabrication equipment that facilitates new product development for a wide range of industries. During the tour we had the opportunity to see a variety of state-of-the-art equipment that is available for use. Joe Luciani, POCC director, shared progress on an innovative 3D printed prototype project they had collaborated on with one of the manufacturers on our tour.
- The Connecticut Manufacturing Simulation Center (CMSC) provides affordable technical assistance for computer-based design, finite element modeling and simulation, testing, and validation, with capabilities in modeling a variety of manufacturing processes, including machining, forming, forging, and casting.
Currently 14 research centers are established at the IPB, many with expertise that would be of interest to manufacturers including additive manufacturing, materials testing, systems engineering, process modeling and more.
The IPB is an excellent resource for projects requiring expertise that you might not have available in-house. If you are interested in learning more, check out their web site, https://techpark.uconn.edu, or let me know and I’ll provide you with a contact. Also, please consider attending a WIM event. They are very informative and welcoming (yes, men are invited, too).