April 15, 2019 – Salt Lake City, UT. The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced that it has awarded the Utah Advanced Material & Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI) federal funds to grow the advanced materials industry cluster in Utah. UAMMI was one of seven national organizations to receive the award from among dozens of applicants across the country.
The award is a result of the SBA’s objective to use public-private partnerships to align federal resources and programs with existing state and local resources, regional strengths, and economic growth opportunities to build more prosperous small business ecosystems across the United States. UAMMI was determined to be a perfect fit for accomplishing this objective and growing the well-known advanced materials cluster in Utah. The SBA will grant UAMMI $500,000 over the next year with an option for up to 4 additional years to accomplish this objective.
“We are thrilled to receive this award,” said Jeff Edwards, Executive Director for UAMMI. “The goal of UAMMI is to connect and grow Utah’s advanced materials and manufacturing industry across the state and these funds will be a tremendous help towards that. We are already implementing new initiatives and programs to accomplish these goals, especially in rural areas of the state.”
Across the country, cluster initiatives have become a major point of focus for economic growth. Clusters are considered regions with a heavy concentration of companies, suppliers, and service providers within a certain industry, such as Utah’s advanced material cluster. Focusing on cluster growth often leads to businesses creation, new technologies and the development of new markets which lead to economic growth and job creation.
The mission of UAMMI closely aligns with the goals of this cluster growth program. UAMMI was created in 2016 with funding from the Utah State Legislature to bring together public, private, community, industry and education partners to assure growth and sustainability of Utah’s advanced material and manufacturing industry. This includes more than 100 companies and over 12,000 jobs in Utah’s carbon fiber, advanced alloys, ceramics and 3D printing companies, resulting in a $1B economic impact to Utah’s economy.
To meet the program goals, UAMMI will continue their efforts with an emphasis on development of new technologies, financing opportunities, mentoring, matchmaking, and networking efforts to help potential high-growth small businesses. Additional programs and events will also be created that will bring together Utah’s aerospace ecosystem of business and industry groups, academic institutions, workforce education, local governments, investors, economic development organizations, entrepreneur groups, technology specialists, and others to collaborate and share ideas.
“In just a few short years, UAMMI has already built and implemented many programs and initiatives that are connecting the advanced materials cluster in Utah,” said Angie Tymofichuk, Deputy Director for UAMMI. “We have built a robust supply chain software tool that allows Utah companies to connect, collaborate, and do more business with each other. We hold regular networking and learning events across the state to connect small and large businesses with each other as well as academia. With the help of theses SBA funds, we are excited to do even more to grow this vital industry cluster in Utah.”
The SBA funds have been awarded to UAMMI for one year, with the ability to receive additional yearly grants through 2023 depending on the program’s success. To help accomplish program goals, UAMMI will employ the services of LSI to manage the administration, reporting and new program implementation and Grow Utah to manage the small business development and startup accelerator programs.
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