Report Cites Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies as Model in Manufacturing

Brookings Institution says centers can be beneficial in helping apply technological advances

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Nabil Nasr

A recent report by the Brookings Institution says the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology is a promising model in helping the resurgence of American manufacturing.

The Brookings-Rockefeller Project on State and Metropolitan Innovation report Accelerating Advanced Manufacturing with New Research Centers urges states to create and invest in advanced manufacturing centers, such as CIMS, which combines research and education so manufacturers can apply technological advances.

“We believe our model of partnering with industry to provide cutting edge research to advance their technology and processes has been a successful model with strong and measurable results,” says Nabil Nasr, director of the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies. “Manufacturing is a very important sector and keeping it healthy should be a priority.”

The report suggests centers, such as CIMS, would take only a $9 million per year investment, which is a small share of what states typically spend on traditional business attraction efforts.

“To strengthen their manufacturing bases, states must go beyond simply attracting large manufacturers from other states and even beyond assisting manufacturers with training and early-stage financing,” the report states. “To accomplish these goals states should establish advanced manufacturing centers, based in their metropolitan areas, to help manufacturers solve generic technical and management problems in one or more industries.”

The report goes on to cite CIMS ability to assist suppliers in a variety of manufacturing industries in making changes to their technologies, business strategies, and methods of work organization that will help them become more productive, and perform applied research in those areas.

Manufacturing remains a critical sector for the economic health of the nation as a whole. The sector accounts for the bulk of U.S. exports, provides many high-wage jobs and is key to innovations, the report also states.

The Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies aims to increase the competitiveness of manufacturers through applied technology and training. Created in 1992, CIMS represents a dynamic collaboration of in-house technical experts, as well as academic, industry and government resources.

The Center is part of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at RIT. The Golisano Institute, founded in 2007, is a world leader in promoting sustainability through education, research and partnering with industry. The institute shares the model of sustainability with companies and municipalities in the U.S. It also shares the model of sustainability education with five partner universities in developing countries around the world as part of the Clinton Global Initiative. It currently houses one of the world’s first Ph.D. programs with a focus on sustainable production as well as master’s degrees in sustainable systems and sustainable architecture. The institute conducts cutting-edge research in nanotechnology, alternative energy development and validation, sustainable design, sustainable mobility and pollution prevention. Golisano Institute for Sustainability was formed in part of a $10 million gift from Paychex founder and philanthropist B. Thomas Golisano. Other founding partners include Staples, Caterpillar and Eastman Kodak Co. The institute also houses the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute. For more information, go to