The goal of the partnership is to accelerate the Cleveland, Ohio, area to the forefront of the new “Industry 4.0” revolution.
The board of directors of The Cleveland Foundation has announced that Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University have been awarded a $1.75 million grant to assist them in launching IoT Collaborative, a partnership designed to focus on IoT and accelerate Cleveland to the head of the so-called “fourth industrial revolution, sometimes known as Industry 4.0.
The number of IoT devices in use is expected to rise to over 30 billion by 2020, and over the next five years, experts predict that the economic impact of IoT-related projects could be as much as $6 trillion.
The Cleveland Foundation says the grant will assist the universities in recruiting top academic talent, design research labs, and formally establish the Collaborative ecosystem. The grant is in addition to the $250,000 in funds they’ve already received as part of the foundation’s Digital Excellence Initiative.
“This work has the potential to be economically transformative if we are able to take a global leadership position on this critical aspect of the IoT revolution while leveraging Cleveland’s history as an industrial and manufacturing powerhouse,” Cleveland Foundation President and CEO Ronn Richard said. “We applaud this game-changing collaboration between Case Western Reserve and Cleveland State and we hope our support will help spark additional sources of funding to get this initiative quickly online.”
The two schools also plan to seek support from federal and state grant and donations from alumni, as well as research agreements. The National Science Foundation has awarded them a $100,000 grand to study how IoT could benefit businesses on Cleveland’s west side.
“We deeply appreciate the Cleveland Foundation’s generous and ongoing support of this forward-thinking collaboration,” Case Western Reserve President Barbara R. Snyder said. “The possibilities for Northeast Ohio are extraordinary, among them enhanced patient care, increased factory efficiency, and improved local infrastructure and services. Just as important, we also will prepare leaders to seize the opportunities inherent in an increasingly digital economy.”