Northeast Ohio’s Smart Manufacturing IIoT Roadmap Earns International Recognition

Team NEO receives innovation award; plan serves as blueprint for all of Ohio
Glenn Richardson, Managing Director, JobsOhio
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On October 15, Team NEO, one of JobsOhio’s six regional partners, received the first-ever Innovation Programs and Initiatives Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for its Smart Manufacturing Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Roadmap at IEDC's Annual Conference.

JobsOhio joined Team NEO on stage to be honored with the award for supporting the project with funding and offering guidance during roadmap development. The Smart Manufacturing IIoT Roadmap will greatly benefit the northeast Ohio region, and serve as a blueprint for growing IIoT applications for manufacturers across Ohio.

A New Way to Approach IIoT for Business Growth

The Innovation Programs and Initiatives Award recognizes a new and creative approach in economic development that helps to address current challenges. Northeast Ohio is a heavily manufacturing-based region. In order for area manufacturers to remain competitive and successful, they need to adapt. Leveraging IIoT is a critical step forward.

“IIoT offers manufacturers a tremendous opportunity to increase their productivity, spur product innovation and bring more profit to the bottom line,” said Jay Foran, senior vice president of industry and innovation at Team NEO. According to an IoT Analytics’ study, global spending on IIoT Platforms for Manufacturing is expected to grow to $12.44 billion by 2024. Capgemini estimates that the size of the connected products market could be up to $685 billion by 2020.

Team NEO’s IIoT Roadmap is a commercialization strategy, tactical framework and plan of action. The roadmap is designed to help manufacturers learn more about IIoT, understand where they are, identify where they want to be, and give them practical tools and connections to accelerate adoption.

With that opportunity in mind, Foran led the IIoT Roadmap Project Team who identified and quantified IIoT implementation opportunities in northeast Ohio. The project team then collaborated with the working group, who provided expert insight throughout the roadmapping process. The working group consisted of private and public organizations including: Amazon Web Services, Hitachi Vantara, Arconic, JobsOhio, Case Western Reserve University, Parker Hannifin, Rockwell Automation, Cleveland State University, Lorain County Community College, and MAGNET, among others.

Team NEO also conducted dozens of interviews with local manufacturers to keep the initiative grounded in current issues facing manufacturers. Following research and analysis, several initiatives were developed to address IIoT implementation, IIoT product innovation and IIoT skills training/workforce development, which will be carried out over the next several years.

Companies in northeast Ohio can complete the IIoT Readiness Assessment, a tool that measures the company’s current relationship with IIoT and where there are opportunities based on several areas of focus: level of engagement, organizational support, potential uses for IIoT, workforce readiness and digital maturity.

Expanding the Roadmap Statewide

JobsOhio will build on what Team NEO has created in order to scale the roadmap across the state, making its benefits available to all Ohio manufacturers.

IIoT is already in action at multiple facilities throughout Ohio, but the projected opportunity cannot be overlooked. Now is the time for Ohio manufacturers to take steps toward integrating IIoT into their products and processes in order to keep them competitive and bring more investment to Ohio. By working with public and private partners across the state, Ohio manufacturers can successfully leverage IIoT connectivity opportunities.

To download the Smart Manufacturing IIoT Roadmap, click here. If you’re in northeast Ohio, take the IIoT Readiness Assessment and consider joining the Smart Manufacturing Cluster of Northeast Ohio and attending the next cluster conference at the end of November.