WEST LAFAYETTE, IN—A manufacturing program at Purdue University recently announced nearly $18 million in federal funding to expand its work with Indiana businesses.

The Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center received base funding through mid-2025, as well as advanced manufacturing technology and coronavirus relief legislation funding, through the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The three awards, combined with additional financing from local industry, are expected to bring the Purdue partnership’s budget to more than $30 million over the next five years.

Officials credited the program’s engagement with Indiana manufacturers and estimated a $4.35 billion economic impact. The program helped more than 1,200 companies in the past year with lean manufacturing, leadership development, quality improvement, and cybersecurity.

The base funding will allow those efforts to continue, while the advanced manufacturing funding will help smaller manufacturers address skilled labor shortages through robotics and automation.

The money allocated under the Cares Act National Emergency Assistance Program will enable companies to address workforce and supply chain interruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as organize manufacturing councils and scout for companies that can produce medical equipment.

“Purdue MEP is a tremendous resource for Indiana manufacturers and will prove to be even more vital in the future by helping companies navigate the uncertainties of the current environment,” says Kevin Hayes, the past chairman of the MEP Board of Advisors and executive vice president of operations at BraunAbility.