Karen Fite to Lead Enterprise Innovation Institute as Interim Vice President

Karen Fite.

The Georgia Institute of Technology has named Karen Fite interim vice president of its economic development unit, the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2).

 

Fite, who is EI²’s associate vice president, will lead the 12-program organization while Georgia Tech conducts a national search for a permanent vice president to succeed Chris Downing, who retired in June after 31 years of service.

 

EI2is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based program of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization, and economic development.

 

Fite, who also is director of EI2’s Business & Industry Services group of programs, has more than 26 years of economic development experience at Tech.

 

The Business & Industry Services group includes the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP), EI2’s largest economic development offering.

 

It also includes:

 

“As director of business and industry services, Karen has successfully provided leadership in critical areas of economic development. We have full confidence that she will continue EI2’s momentum and reach in Georgia and beyond as we conduct the search for a permanent vice president,” said Chaouki Abdallah, Georgia Tech’s executive vice president for research.

 

“She brings an enormous wealth of expertise and critical understanding to economic development and how to connect businesses, manufacturers, and communities to Georgia Tech’s vast innovation and technology resources to elevate their competitive position and economic impact.”

 

With state and federal support, for example, EI2’s 160-member staff operate a statewide network of assistance to Georgia manufacturers through the GaMEP and supports commercialization of Georgia Tech faculty research via its VentureLab offering.

 

A globally recognized model for university-based economic development, EI2— through its Economic Development Lab program — is tapped across the state, nationally, and internationally to help communities and organization innovate in business incubation and commercialization, strategic planning, and economic sustainability.

 

Other programs include assisting in the growth and development of technology startups through the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), serving minority-owned businesses, and advising companies across the Southeast that have been affected by foreign trade.

 

Previously, Fite was GaMEP’s state regional network manager and led a team of 10 regional managers in their outreach efforts.

 

She was an RAB-certified Quality Management Systems Lead Auditor, and as a member of the Center for International Standards and Quality (CISQ), she provided implementation assistance and training to companies pursuing ISO 9001. She has expertise in assisting companies in the implementation of Lean Principles in manufacturing, government and healthcare entities.

Her earlier experience includes the application of industrial and management engineering, employee involvement, and business principles.

 

Fite has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Miami and a bachelor’s in health systems from Georgia Tech.In 2018, she achieved the faculty rank of principal extension professional, the Georgia Tech’s highest professional extension faculty rank.

Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center to Host Minority Business Enterprises at Fourth Annual National MBE Manufacturers Summit August 11-13

Summit’s 2019 focus: Technologies driving “Intelligent Manufacturing Reality.”

 

Attendees of the 2018 National MBE Manufacturers Summit learn how the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute’s Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Facility allows teams to incorporate academic, industrial and/or government expertise to develop, scale, and deploy next-generation technologies.

Robotics, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality drive today’s advanced manufacturing businesses.

 

How can minority business enterprises (MBEs) in the manufacturing sector harness these technologies to grow, attract customers, and become more efficient?

 

Find out Aug. 11-13, 2019 at the Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center’s fourth annual National MBE Manufacturers Summit 2019, the only event of its kind that caters to minority manufacturers. (REGISTER HERE)

 

The Summit gives leading MBE manufacturers the opportunity to assemble, build connections, and create new business opportunities. More than 600 attendees from 28 states, Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., and Canada have experienced the impact of participating in this national gathering of the manufacturing community.

 

Josh Ghaim, Johnson & Johnson’s CTO, is the Summit’s lunch keynote speaker.

Amir A. Ghannad, leadership development specialist and culture transformation catalyst of the Ghannad Group, will open the conference with a morning keynote.

Launched in 2016, the Summit offers educational workshops, one-on-one meetings with large corporations, showcases innovation, and brings visibility to MBE manufacturers.

 

This year’s theme, “Creating the NEXT: Intelligent Manufacturing Reality,” centers on robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and other systems that drive manufacturing.

 

“The National MBE Manufacturers Summit has grown tremendously these past three years as we strive to help minority business enterprises to scale and present the latest technologies,” said Donna Ennis, Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center director.

 

“As the must-attend event of the year for MBEs, the Summit is the opportunity for them to fully have an immersive experience in technology and innovation, network to expand, learn, and to do business with international conglomerates.”

 

Among this year’s event highlights:

  • Morning Keynote: Amir A. Ghannad, leadership development specialist and culture transformation catalyst of the Ghannad Group, will open the conference with a captivating discussion on transformative leadership and the use of innovation to transform and improve daily company processes.
  • Lunch Keynote: Josh Ghaim, Johnson & Johnson’s CTO, will give a thought-provoking conversation on innovation and how technology drives business.
  • TAG Innovation Pod Showcase:Powered by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), the Showcase consists of 16 to 20 companies highlighting leading technologies designed to transform manufacturing processes and improve production.
  • Summit Fast Pitch 1-on-1: Ingersoll Rand, Siemens, BMW Group, WestRock, Coca-Cola Co., and other large corporations return for one-on-one meetings where MBEs give a15-minute pitch on how they can help these multinational firms solve corporate challenges.
  • Technology Innovation Experience: See the latest technologies in manufacturing at the Plant Manufacturing Technology Tour of Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia.

 

The opportunities afforded to attendees have been invaluable,” said Joe Lewis, CEO of Flentek Solutions, an Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center client and past Summit participant. “All these people in one place, one meeting, I am able to build connections with all of them at one time.”

 

James Thornton, Siemens Mobility’s’ head of procurement, echoed those sentiments. “The Summit’s fast pitch one-on-one meetings allow Siemens Mobility to meet with potential suppliers, attendees, subject matter experts and discover their capabilities,” he said. “We get to share our culture and pain points while building future partnerships.”

 

About the Atlanta MBDA Centers

As part of a national network of 42 centers, the Atlanta MBDA Centers help minority business enterprises (MBEs) access capital, increase profitability, scale and grow their businesses. Funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Atlanta MBDA Business Center and Advanced Manufacturing Center are part of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based program of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization, and economic development. To learn more, please visit mbdabusinesscenter-atlanta.org.

Green Nanotechnology Investment: Researchers Help Assess Economic Impact of Nanotech on Green & Sustainable Growth

In the United States alone, government and private industry together invest more than $3 billion per year in nanotechnology research and development, and globally the total is much higher. What will be the long-run economic returns from these investments, not only in new jobs and product sales, but also from improvements in sustainability?

Examples of nanogenerators

Image shows nanogenerators developed in the laboratory of Zhong Lin Wang at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The devices contain 700 rows of nanowire arrays, which produce enough power for nanometer-scale sensors. (Credit: Gary Meek)

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers Philip Shapira and Jan Youtie helped answer that question through research presented March 27th at the International Symposium on Assessing the Economic Impact of Nanotechnology held in Washington, D.C. The researchers highlighted the importance of full lifecycle assessments to understand the impacts of nanotechnologies on green economic development in such areas as energy, the environment and safe drinking water.

“Nanotechnology promises to foster green and sustainable growth in many product and process areas,” said Shapira, a professor with Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy and the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research at the Manchester Business School in the United Kingdom. “Although nanotechnology commercialization is still in its early phases, we need now to get a better sense of what markets will grow and how new nanotechnology products will impact sustainability. This includes balancing gains in efficiency and performance against the net energy, environmental, carbon and other costs associated with the production, use and end-of-life disposal or recycling of nanotechnology products.”

But because nanotechnology underlies many different industries, assessing and forecasting its impact won’t be easy. “Compared to information technology and biotechnology, for example, nanotechnology has more of the characteristics of a general technology such as the development of electric power,” said Youtie, director of policy research services at Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. “That makes it difficult to analyze the value of products and processes that are enabled by the technology. We hope that our paper will provide background information and help frame the discussion about making those assessments.”

Researcher Jan Youtie

Jan Youtie is director of policy research services at Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. (Credit: Georgia Tech).

The symposium is sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and by the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative. Support for Georgia Tech research into the societal impacts of nanotechnology has come from the National Science Foundation through the Center for Nanotechnology in Society based at Arizona State University.

For their paper, co-authors Shapira and Youtie examined a subset of green nanotechnologies that aim to enable sustainable energy, improve environmental quality, and provide healthy drinking water for areas of the world that now lack it. They argue that the lifecycle of nanotechnology products must be included in the assessment.

“In examining the economic impact of these green nanotechnologies, we have to consider the lifecycle, which includes such issues as environmental health and safety, as well as the amount of energy required to produce materials such as carbon nanotubes,” said Shapira.

Environmental concerns have been raised about what happens to nanomaterials when they get into water supplies, he noted. In addition, some nanostructures use toxic elements such as cadmium. Energy required for producing nano-enabled products is also an important consideration, though it may be balanced against the energy saved – and pollution reduced – through the use of such products, Shapira said.

Research into these societal issues, which is being conducted in parallel with the research and development of nanotechnology – may allow the resulting nano-enabled products to avoid the kinds of the controversies that have hindered earlier technologies.

“Scientists, policy-makers and other observers have found that some of the promise of prior rounds of technology was limited by not anticipating and considering societal concerns prior to the introduction of new products,” Youtie said. “For nanotechnology, it is vital that these issues are being considered even during the research and development stage, before products hit the market in significant quantities.”

Researcher Phil Shapira

Phil Shapira is a professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy and the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research at the Manchester Business School in the United Kingdom. (Credit: Georgia Tech)

The nanotechnology industry began with large companies that had the resources to invest in research and development. But that is now changing, Youtie said.

“A lot of small companies are involved in novel nanomaterials development,” she said. “Large companies often focus on integrating those nanomaterials into existing products or processes.”

Among the goals of the OECD symposium are development of methodologies and approaches for estimating the impacts of green nanotechnology on jobs and new product sales. Existing forecasts have come largely from proprietary models used by private-sector firms.

“While these private forecasts have high visibility, their information and methods are often proprietary,” Shapira noted. “We also need to develop open and peer-reviewed models in which approaches are transparent and everyone can see the methods and assumptions used.”

In their paper, Youtie and Shapira cite several examples of green nanotechnology, discuss the potential impacts of the technology, and review forecasts that have been made. Examples of green nanotechnology they cite include:

Nano-enabled solar cells that use lower-cost organic materials, as opposed to current photovoltaic technologies that require rare materials such as platinum;

  • Nanogenerators that use piezoelectric materials such as zinc oxide nanowires to convert human movement into energy;
  • Energy storage applications in which nanotechnology materials improve existing batteries and nano-enabled fuel cells;
  • Thermal energy applications, such as nano-enabled insulation;
  • Fuel catalysis in which nanoparticles improve the production and refining of fuels and reduce emissions from automobiles;
  • Technologies used to provide safe drinking water through improved water treatment, desalination and reuse.

Enterprise Innovation Institute
Georgia Institute of Technology
75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314
Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986)(ude.hcetagnull@nootj).

Writer: John Toon

Hoshizaki Boosts Productivity and Cuts Costs with Continuous Improvement System

PEACHTREE CITY – The Peachtree City, Ga. facility of Hoshizaki America — a manufacturer of commercial ice makers, dispensers, refrigerators and related products — recently cut its costs by more than $7 million and increased productivity by 75 percent through implementation of a continuous improvement system.

Studying processes at Hoshizaki

Derek Woodham (right), Georgia Tech’s west Georgia regional manager, confers with Hoshizaki’s Jim Quo (left) and Kevin Sanders at the company’s facility in Peachtree City.

The impressive results, produced with assistance from Georgia Tech’s Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP), came about after the company had labored for a number of years to sustain a continuous improvement system. These earlier improvement efforts had focused on large projects using a team-based approach, which highlighted both the existence of activities that didn’t add value and the invisible walls between departments. For competitive reasons, the company felt the need for improvement was critical.

In 2007, Derek Woodham and Larry Alford, Georgia Tech lean specialists, conducted a lean assessment of the company’s operations.

“When the results came back from the lean audit, we began questioning our business,” said Jeff Tatum, Hoshizaki’s director of manufacturing improvements. “Our CEO decided to implement the lean approach, and each person in a leadership role was required to complete lean reading material. This helped our leadership team fully understand the difference between value-added and non-value-added work.”

In-house lean simulation training class for executives and other key personnel added to this foundation. By the end of the courses, Hoshizaki staff had mapped current and future value streams, identified appropriate techniques for improvement, developed a lean strategy and planned the application of specific lean techniques.

Woodham then proposed a series of kaizen events. Kaizen, or rapid improvement, focuses on a particular process or activity that identifies and quickly removes waste. Tatum and other members of the leadership team decided to focus their efforts on four product lines in the plant.

“The results of the kaizen events were so remarkable that a Kaizen Promotion Office (KPO) was established to implement lean across the organization,” Tatum said.  “It really became the lean training center and the change agent for the organization.”

Hoshizaki also began implementing 5S in each manufacturing area. 5S (sorting, straightening, shining, standardizing, and sustaining) is a method for organizing the workplace. The “sort” phase led to the establishment of a red tag system for sorting unused items from each work area. Visual control aids were made available to each area during the “set” phase, and time was allocated for cleaning and inspection during the “shine” phase.

In 2009, Hoshizaki began to see double-digit productivity improvements that company officials expect to see continue.

“Georgia Tech training allowed each of the KPO members to understand the use and implementation method of the lean tools,” said Jim Procuro, senior vice president of manufacturing at Hoshizaki. “By using employee ideas to identify and eliminate waste, we have been able to establish a successful continuous improvement system.”

Tatum noted that more than 2,700 employee ideas were submitted last year and 43 percent of the suggestions were implemented. He expects that number to increase as Hoshizaki employees become more engaged and kaizen becomes a way of life.

Hoshizaki America was also the first company to join the Georgia Tech Lean Consortium, a forum for organizations to advance their knowledge and effective use of lean principles. According to Tatum, the monthly events have allowed companies to share and learn from each other and helped tremendously with Hoshizaki’s benchmarking.

“The learning tours have been fantastic and the Georgia Tech training — whether it’s a value stream mapping event or a lean boot camp — has been very useful in helping our employees understand the tools and applications,” Tatum explained. “But there’s a lot of activity with Consortium members that takes place outside of Georgia Tech. It’s turned into a natural support function for continuing to learn.”

Both Tatum and Procuro attribute Hoshizaki’s success to support from the CEO and his executive team for the lean initiative and for the flexibility to adjust goals and measures as the project developed. Tatum noted that while other companies were worried about jobs and survival last year, Hoshizaki was able to give bonuses to its employees.

“Something like that encourages the employees to push that much harder, because they know the honesty and integrity are there on the part of the leadership team,” he said. “Now lean is internalized and is just part of our own way of doing things in every project we do now. We are thankful that Georgia Tech continues to be there to support our journey.”

About GaMEP: The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) is a program of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute and is a member of the national MEP network supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  The GaMEP, with offices in nine regions across the state, has been serving Georgia manufacturers since 1960.  With a broad range of industrial expertise, the GaMEP helps manufacturing companies across Georgia grow and stay competitive.  It offers a solution-based approach through technical assistance, coaching, education, and connections to Georgia Tech, industry and state resources designed to increase top line growth and reduce bottom line cost.

Enterprise Innovation Institute
Georgia Institute of Technology
75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314
Atlanta, Georgia  30308  USA

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986)(ude.hcetagnull@nootj).

Writer: Nancy Fullbright

Georgia Tech and Gwinnett Tech Receive $1.65 Million Grant to Boost Job Creation

The Georgia Institute of Technology and Gwinnett Technical College, part of the Atlanta Health Information Technology (HIT) cluster, have been awarded a $1.65 million grant to enhance the state’s capabilities in this sector. The initiative is part of the federal government’s Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge, a tri-agency competition initiated to support the advancement of 20 high-growth, regional industry clusters. The Atlanta HIT cluster’s proposal was one of 20 selected from 125 applicants.

The collaborative program, designed to quickly create jobs to fill demand in Georgia’s expanding HIT cluster, provides a commercialization pathway for the supply-side and training for the workforce on the provider side. The initiative also engages traditionally underserved businesses throughout the state’s economically distressed areas via technical assistance resources.

“Our ultimate goal is simple — to achieve higher-quality, lower-cost and more patient-centric health care throughout Georgia,” said Steve Rushing, director of HIT initiatives at Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), who will serve as the general advisor for the integrated project plan.  “Through extensive collaboration and partnerships, this initiative leverages existing resources to boost job creation through technology deployment, and thus economic development.”

The HIT proposal is funded by the Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA). The Atlanta Development Authority (ADA) will assist with financing coordination on the SBA Scope of Work.

“ADA will focus on identifying and coordinating financing sources such as small business loans and equity from angel and venture capital firms to enhance this initiative,” says Brian McGowan, president and ADA CEO. “This grant will greatly expand our region’s capacity to create jobs and establish a global competitive edge in a highly sought after innovation cluster.”

In-kind donations and support for hiring program graduates have also come from the HIT industry and information technology providers. In addition, the Georgia Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center will play a key role in identifying eligible and formerly under-served small businesses to participate in the program.

The centerpiece of the EDA funds provided by this grant will be the creation of an Interoperability Lab that will be funded for two years.  A standards-based facility located at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), the lab will test and evaluate cutting-edge health information technology software innovations originating from industry, researchers, faculty and students, inventors and other sources.

As part of the initiative, Gwinnett Technical College will develop a one-year certificate in health information technology. The “Feet on the Ground” program, designed for veterans and underemployed/unemployed individuals, will provide industry-designed training for employment in software development, sales and customer service, medical billing and coding, and computer networking positions within health care provider organizations.

“This grant and the resulting  Feet on the Ground’ program is great news for our veterans, those unemployed and underemployed, and individuals eager to enter the rapidly growing field of health information technology,” said Gwinnett Tech President Sharon Bartels. “HIT is a growing sector where there are jobs for those with the right skills and training. The program Gwinnett Tech will develop will help fill this unmet need for a skilled workforce and connect job seekers with employers.”

The “Feet on the Ground” certification program will undergo curriculum development and preparation for the initial project year. The target for years two and three will be to graduate more than 400 certified trainees annually, approximately half of them veterans.

About the Enterprise Innovation Institute:

The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.

Growing the Southeast’s First Photovoltaics Firm

John W. Baumstark (left), CEO of Suniva, the Southeast’s first photovoltaics company, poses with Ajeet Rohatgi, founder, in the company’s manufacturing facility in Norcross. Based on technology developed at Georgia Tech, the company received assistance from the Enterprise Innovation Institute.

Studying the Impacts of Nanotechnology

Enterprise Innovation Institute researchers are part of a national team evaluating the socioeconomic impacts of nanotechnology. Shown is Georgia Tech Regents’ Professor Zhong Lin Wang with an example of a potentially revolutionary technology for capturing solar energy.

Commercializing Multi-electrode Arrays

CEO Tom O’Brien (left) and Chief Technical Officer James Ross show the electronic devices and analysis software developed by Axion Biosystems. The company received assistance from the Enterprise Innovation Institute and the Georgia Research Alliance VentureLab Program.

Supporting the Carpet and Rug Industry

The Enterprise Innovation Institute worked with Novana, Inc., a Georgia company that developed an innovative concept for recycling carpet waste, a major industry priority. Shown is Daniel Tsai, president of the company.

Supporting NCR’s Move to Georgia

The Enterprise Innovation Institute collaborated with Georgia Tech’s School of Industrial and Systems Engineering to support development of the NCR Corporation’s advanced manufacturing facility in Columbus. Shown discussing the facility are Professor Dave Goldsman (right) and student Thomas Teyrasse.