Buckley Brinkman, the executive director and chief executive officer of Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, will become the leader of the new Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing & Productivity Inc.
The WCMP will receive $4 million in federal funds from the National Institute of Standards and Technology for the first 15 months of a five-year agreement to work with partners at the state and federal levels to help small and medium-sized manufacturers.
WCMP will utilize the WMEP and the University of Wisconsin-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center to continue to serve the needs of manufacturers in the state.
Tim Wiora, the WMEP’s current director of consulting for WMEP will replace Brinkman as executive director and CEO.
“This is a great opportunity for Wisconsin to grow and expand our manufacturing base,” Brinkman said. “The award confirms the success of Wisconsin’s MEP system support of small and medium manufacturers across the state. We are all excited about the opportunity we have to expand Wisconsin’s influence in national manufacturing.”
The new center will offer a diverse set of statewide products and services, in areas such as exporting, supply chain management and sustainability, while focusing on five strategic industry clusters: power generation and control; water; food and beverage; biotechnology; and aerospace. It also will pursue advanced manufacturing initiatives with a wide range of partners, including NASA and Ohio-based America Makes, a regional hub for manufacturing innovation and member of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.
Over the five-year agreement, NIST will provide a total of $16.3 million, matched by $21.1 million in non-federal cost-share. NIST funding beyond the first year is subject to the availability of annual appropriations and successful annual reviews.
“This award is part of an important competition process that has given us the opportunity to review and re-set funding for MEP centers across the country,” said Phillip Singerman, NIST’s associate director for innovation and industry services, who managed the competition process. “It is helping to keep MEP centers like the one in Wisconsin in a position to meet the changing needs of manufacturers.”
“This funding will help the new center realize many of the MEP program’s goals for collaboration. We were pleased to see this competition bring together multiple organizations to form the Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing & Productivity to operate the new center,” said Carroll Thomas, MEP director.