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Industry News
Economic development partners to benefit startups in Wyoming

Well-known Dayton, Ohio-based commercialization agent and technology incubator, the National Composite Center (NCC), and Manufacturing-Works (Laramie, Wyo. ) have agreed to join forces to nurture high-tech companies involved with advanced materials in their respective states. The latter, in partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST, Gaithersburg, Md.

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Posted on: 3/11/2009
High-Performance Composites

Well-known Dayton, Ohio-based commercialization agent and technology incubator, the National Composite Center (NCC), and Manufacturing-Works (Laramie, Wyo.) have agreed to join forces to nurture high-tech companies involved with advanced materials in their respective states. The latter, in partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST, Gaithersburg, Md.), the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming, provides assistance, training and engineering solutions to technology-based companies. As part of NCC’s Member Network, Manufacturing-Works now will use the NCC’s Ohio-based facilities and services to incubate new businesses for eventual transplant to Wyoming, offering NCC access to its business and engineering expertise in exchange. “NCC has built a network of scientists and production, manufacturing and business people that enables the exchange of information and ideas in a nurturing environment,” says Lou Luedtke, president and CEO of NCC. “This creates a unique atmosphere for problem solving.”

The partnership breaks new ground for the NCC, which has, until now, been active in planting new composites-oriented businesses in Ohio. He says the new partnership is part of NCC efforts aimed at “positioning Ohio to be a strong player in the global supply chain. At first glance, the value of incubating companies in Ohio for transplanting to states like Wyoming seems temporary. But what we’re really doing is tapping into new intellectual capital, product concepts, manufacturing opportunities — one connection invariably produces multiple connections with the capability to infuse our own local economy.”

Manufacturing-Works’ alliance manager, George Rex, says the partnership meets a critical need in Wyoming, the least populated state in the U.S., to reduce its economic dependence on mining. “In order to diversify our state and create jobs we need to develop manufacturing and assist technology to market,” he says. “By tying into the advanced materials market through NCC, we’ll be able to establish high-tech companies poised for growth in both regions.”

By its count, NCC has nurtured 50 companies since its inception. Acquiring along the way nearly $40 million of infrastructure and equipment for a wide range of composite processes and capabilities, NCC reportedly is the only “total economic development solution” for advanced materials in the U.S. “Incubators tend to be either science- or business-oriented, with little practical manufacturing experience,” claims Luedtke, who contends that NCC “provides it all.”

NCC says research shows that 90 percent of startup businesses fail within three years. In the university incubation setting, the failure-rate percentage falls to 70 percent. NCC claims that the failure rate for its startups is less than 20 percent.

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