An Economical Option for Innovation

When your product development or manufacturing company needs design, engineering or business services not currently employed, the most typical solution is to outsource the work to a consulting or design firm. There is now a new, cost-effective, novel program at Ohio State’s Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME) which utilizes students to bring about high-value manufacturing projects as part of their curriculum. These young minds are eager to learn and willing to expend time and effort to bring about successful projects. When properly mentored and guided by CDME’s experienced staff, they are capable of doing incredible things.

While there is often a trepidation with using students, CDME embraces their passion and creativity to delivery on high-value projects successfully. Our engineering director, Nate Ames, has often been heard stating that one of the biggest values of students is that they are “unencumbered by experience”. While experience is a great trait in our senior engineering staff, students who do not have decades of industry experience are able to look at product design and innovation problems with a fresh perspective.

CDME is proud to have recently launched the Experiential Entrepreneurship Education (E3). This program is the first of its kind in the nation to combine state-of-the-art educational programs in product design, manufacturing, commercialization, and business modeling with advanced on-site prototyping capabilities and real-time, industry-sponsored research and development projects. We are proud to offer another option to innovate for the small to medium-sized manufacturing market. You are encouraged to bring your innovative ideas and engineering challenges to the program and allow these bright students the opportunity to develop your product into a commercial, competitive deliverable. The students gain experience, advance in the E3 program and are gainfully employed. You gain a customized and marketable product.

The E3 program is made possible by a generous donation from an alumnus of Ohio State’s College of Engineering. Those who complete the E3 program will be much more prepared than their peers upon graduation and will start value-added employment from day one. For more information on this program, click here.

By Eric Wagner Program Manager, Manufacturing Extension Partnership at The Ohio State University