National Science Foundation
Florida’s First Coast Manufacturing Innovation Partnership
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The Manufacturing Innovation Partnership

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State: Florida

Joint industry-academia projects with regional industry comprise Florida’s First Coast Manufacturing Innovation Partnership.  The development of the Manufacturing Innovation Partnership has the primary goals of project-centered innovations for technology transfer, training the regional workforce with relevance to industry, and sustainability of technology transfer through creation of high-technology jobs. Engineering students are gaining valuable experience while working on manufacturing and design projects for First Coast industries.  Projects with partnering companies tend to be strategic in nature with students being important beneficiaries of the program.  Undergraduate engineering students increase their experience in applying theoretical knowledge and also learn more about regional industry.  

The experiences gained by the students serve to increase the size of a more scientifically and technologically literate workforce trained with relevance to industry. Ten companies have partnered and jointly sponsored 14 research and development projects thus far, enabling 26 future engineers to gain valuable experience in transformational learning opportunities.  Example project innovations include the development of an automated assembly machine to produce one drug testing kit every two seconds for a law enforcement products manufacturer; and the development of a safer cranial tap device for a medical device manufacturer.  The project-centered approach of having students work on technically challenging projects in collaboration with partnering companies provides an important focused resource for the regional industries.

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