Assisting manufacturers in North Dakota:
The North Dakota Manufacturing Technology Partnership (MTP) was established in 1995 as one of the manufacturing extension centers operating within the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The approximately 400 targeted manufacturers in the state will be able to receive direct assistance from dedicated manufacturing specialists experienced in manufacturing and will be able to access other appropriate assistance through managed referrals. Manufacturers can expect benefits from improved manufacturing processes; enhanced management skills; better business practices; research and development funding and technical assistance; expanded market opportunities; defense conversion assistance; new product development resources; better trained staff; intercompany working relationships; increased revenue; and increased profit.
The overall administrative accountability for the MTP lies with Technology Transfer, Inc. (TTI), a non-profit development corporation established in 1991 by the North Dakota Legislature whose purpose is to provide leadership and financial resources toward the commercialization of new technology in North Dakota. The MTP is managed by a team of leaders representing TTI, the North Dakota Manufacturers and Processors, the North Dakota University System, and the Small Business Development Center. The MTP became operational on January 2, 1996, with the hiring of a lead manufacturing specialist. A staged approach is planned, which anticipates the need for a total of six specialists statewide by the end of 1997.
An Advisory Council has been established to assist in planning, developing, and evaluating activities and to help foster public understanding and support. There are 17 members on the Council, six representing manufacturing; four representing processing; one representative of the ND Manufacturers and Processors Association; two representing private service providers; one representing Otter Tail Power Cooperative; one representing rural electric cooperatives; and ex-officio representatives from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the North Dakota Work Force Development Council.
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