The Indiana Economic Development Corporation announced three new initiatives to support Hoosier manufacturing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The $10 million program will focus on startup investment and technology modernization in the industry.
The Economic Activity Stabilization and Enhancement, or EASE, program consists of three different initiatives. The first – the Smart & Advanced Manufacturing Focus Fund – creates a $3 million fund to make early investments in companies developing or integrating smart technologies like 3D printing, data analytics and augmented or virtual reality. That program launches immediately.
The second – Manufacturing Readiness Grants – is a $4 million fund to provide matching grants to modernize manufacturing operations to improve capacity and speed. IEDC Chief of Staff Luke Bosso says that program is expected to launch the grant applications in July.
"These programs will launch later this year and are intended to be long term solutions for the state’s manufacturing industry," Bosso says.
The third initiative creates a Smart Manufacturing Studio Lab to provide companies space to train employees and test technologies for their businesses. That studio would launch in early 2021.
The EASE program is funded through the state’s 21st Century Research and Technology Fund.