UA teams up to boost local manufacturers


University of Akron President Luis M. Proenza and George K. Haritos, dean of UA’s College of Engineering, along with their counterparts at three other Northeast Ohio colleges and universities, joined with the Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET) today to announce the signing of agreements that will facilitate university support of small- and medium-size manufacturers.

The University of Akron

President Proenza

The agreements commit UA, Cleveland State University, Case Western Reserve University and Lorain County Community College to work cooperatively to grow and strengthen manufacturing in the region by helping the industry in Northeast Ohio pursue growth strategies through research and innovation.

In the short term, the collaborations will focus on advancing a MAGNET initiative called PRISM, the Partnership for Regional Innovation Services to Manufacturers, designed to assist small and medium size manufacturers grow and create jobs by taking advantage of the many assets of these academic institutions and other resources in the region. Over the longer term, the organizations will work together and with others to shape a regional strategy for making Northeast Ohio a recognized center of excellence in manufacturing innovation.

“We in northeast Ohio are bullish on manufacturing because we know that we are continuously inventing the future of manufacturing right here,” said Proenza. “We are doing it through novel partnerships of the sort PRISM represents, innovative research, and by providing the region’s talent supply chain with engineers, scientists, technicians, managers, accountants and countless others.  This is the true working capital that manufacturers of all sizes need in order to thrive in today’s environment.”

Each collaborative agreement is between an individual institute and the Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network, a key hub and service provider in the PRISM resource network.  A preamble in each agreement outlines motivational factors for the collaborative agreement. These include:

  • The commitment by both parties to realizing the vision of Northeast Ohio as a nationally recognized center of manufacturing innovation and education,
  • The belief by both signing parties that PRISM will be an effective vehicle for realizing this vision
  • The commitment by the  institute to make its resources more accessible through PRISM, which include faculty, students, staff, facilities, equipment
  • The belief by both organizations that increased engagement is mutually beneficial to university stakeholders (including student, faculty, administration, surrounding communities) and to the regional economy

“The global economy is a knowledge-based economy and its primary fuels are not petroleum or coal, but innovation and research and the human capital of a new generation of engineers, managers and others energizing the future,” said Proenza.  “We have all those resources and more right here in northeast Ohio.  Today, with the announcement on PRISM, we take another step to create the future by inventing it.”

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Media contact: Eileen Korey, 330-972-8589 or