Morrison Tech, a leader in the engineering tech educational field, announced today construction of an 8000 square foot Innovation Center on campus. This Center will bring together regional businesses, entrepreneurs, artisans and Morrison Tech students, providing them a place to create with equipment that they might not have easily available to them. “The center will foster collaboration and creativity, it will be a place where ideas are explored, discoveries are made and dreams are pursued.” Morrison Tech President Chris Scott stated.
The facility will work to meet regional workforce needs and support strategic growth for this region’s small to medium manufacturers, as well as entrepreneurs.
The Center, the largest of its kind in Illinois, will be comprised of several individual areas to bring ideas to life. A feature of the structure is a large assortment of additive manufacturing equipment and traditional equipment. The Center will take Morrison Tech’s vast knowledge and experience in additive manufacturing (3D Printing) and expand the equipment and possibilities even further, making it possible to print parts of nearly any size or shape. The Innovation Center will have it all; cutting-edge additive manufacturing equipment, a robotics and electronics labs, CNC equipment, a construction technology lab, traditional manufacturing equipment, woodworking and metalworking equipment, welding equipment, forging equipment and casting space (both cold and hot). The diversity of offerings will merge to provide almost limitless options for users of the facility.
Built to serve four primary clients, the center will foster collaboration and ingenuity. Students, businesses, artisans, and entrepreneurs alike will benefit from a place where ideas are explored, dreams are pursued, and discoveries are made.
Morrison Tech Students: One of the strongest attributes of Morrison Tech Students is their hands-on experience. This facility will move those experiences to a higher tier. Students will have hands on access to state-of the-art equipment and have the ability to network with professionals in the field. Students would also have the opportunity to address actual design problems for partnering companies.The Innovation Center will allow students to bring concepts and creations out of the classroom and into the real world.
Regional Business and Industry: Businesses that need assistance with their current production or wish to bring a new product to market will be able to utilize the facility to do just this. The ability to produce prototypes, small production runs, tooling set up and make use of a testing facility is readily available to them. Technical assistance will be available, as well. The Center will help companies cut design time, save on specialized product or components and expand potentiality without investing millions into equipment. In short, the Morrison Tech Innovation Center will give the companies the tools to be more competitive and profitable in today’s changing business climate.
Entrepreneurs: Startups will be able to bring their ideas to the market place with the aid of the facility. Design work and access to needed equipment will be immediately available. Morrison Tech also has the experience and expertise to assist with prototyping, manufacturing processes, and material choices.
Artisans: The Innovation Center’s equipment serves a dual purpose. The equipment may be exactly what an artisan needs to cultivate their vision. Individual space will also be available for the artist, allowing them room to grow. This element of the Center will be constantly advancing to fit the interest of individuals and the community.
In addition to providing working space, equipment and knowledge to the consumers and students, Morrison Tech is working in partnership with the MADC, The Morrison Chamber of Commerce and the City of Morrison to explore the possibility of a gallery or storefront display for those to sell their design work.
The Center will allow all who use it to work together, brainstorm on new ideas and technologies. Ideally this will be a place where industry, entrepreneurs and artisans can share ideas and techniques.
Another very distinctive and exciting feature to the structure is a Children's MakerSpace. A MakerSpace is about teaching children to think for themselves, to think creatively. and to look for do-it-yourself solutions. It is a place where the child’s curiosity and wonder come together with hands-on exploration. The informal environment promotes the learning of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Morrison Tech is proud to bring the Maker Method; Plan - Make - Play to Morrison and the surrounding areas.
The manufacturing industry is constantly evolving and the Center will help support continued growth, foster development and job creation as well as strengthen the positive impact that manufacturing has on the local and state economy.
You may learn more about this addition to the Morrison Tech campus by visiting their website at https://www.morrisontech.edu/innovation-center/
The estimated cost to complete this project is $750,000. Morison Tech has funded the costs through grants and loans. If you wish to help support this project please contact, Mr. Christopher Scott at (815)772- 7218 ext.212. or visit the college website at https://www.morrisontech.edu/giving/gift/
Morrison Institute of Technology is a 501 (3c) non profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.