New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) joins Roger Williams University (RWU) and the University of Rhode Island (URI) in a cross-institutional economic development research project through the College & University Research Collaborative (the Collaborative).
The Collaborative is funding the research project titled, “Manufacturing Capabilities in Rhode Island and the Potential for University Partnerships.” This project will bring key faculty members from these institutions of higher learning together to examine the current and future needs of the manufacturing sector in Rhode Island.
The Collaborative is funded by the Rhode Island Foundation and Commerce RI (formerly the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation).
The research team includes Dean A. Plowman, Department Chair/Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering Technology Department at NEIT; Richard Brown, Professor of Materials and Chemical Engineering at URI; Gilbert Brunnhoeffer, Associate Professor, Program Coordinator Master of Science in Construction Management, and Linda A. Riley, Professor, Program Coordinator Engineering Program both from RWU.
Their task is to collect data through phone and in-person interviews with each team member’s Professional Advisory Board, consisting of both small and large manufacturing firms. The goal is to determine those manufacturing capabilities missing from these designated companies in Rhode Island (as well as those in the immediate region contiguous to Rhode Island) and which options are the most beneficial to develop. The team’s findings will provide a database of needs and plans from the representative businesses engaged in a wide range of manufacturing and will examine the role of higher education in supporting the development of future manufacturing capabilities.
According to Plowman, “We are thrilled to be a partner in such an important economic development project for the State of Rhode Island. Many of my fellow research colleagues view New England Tech as the “Maker College” in Rhode Island. Since the maker culture encourages invention and creativity and is technology-based using new and unique applications in engineering-oriented fields such as electronics, robotics, 3-D printing, programming, and CNC tools, it is our hope that NEIT’s expertise in hands-on, technical training will help find solutions to the manufacturing issues now facing our state.”
For more information pertaining to the research grant, contact Dean Plowman at 401-739-5000 or [email protected].
About the College & University Research Collaborative
The Collaborative is a statewide public/private partnership that connects public policy and academic research via Rhode Island’s 11 higher education institutions. Its mission is to increase the use of non-partisan academic research in policymaking and to provide an evidence-based foundation for government decision-making. A panel of policy leaders appointed by Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, Speaker of the House Gordon Fox and Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed, work together to determine consensus-based research questions, which are then shared with the academic community. Visit https://www.collaborativeri.org/ for more information.