regional biz plan to help neo manufacturers thrive

While it's common for individual companies to develop a business plan to help prepare for success, Northeast Ohio is one of only three regions in the country to pilot a regional business development plan. The Partnership for Regional Innovation Services to Manufacturers (PRISM) will be headed by MAGNET to help small and medium sized manufacturers thrive in the region.

"It's basically a way to ramp up the level of innovation in the manufacturing sector," says John Schober, MAGNET's director of innovation. "Lots of businesses out there have the potential to grow, but they don't have the resources available to grow."

For instance, these companies may not have access to resources such as marketing or R&D departments. "The PRISM program will help manufacturers identify and access these resourcces," says Schober. "People have been talking about what's going wrong for a while, but no one's talking about what to do about it."

This initiative will take the sub-networks -- government, education, the manufacturing sector, economic development organizations, and service -- and connect them. "The realization came that we're in these networks and we see the gap," says Schober. "We can connect those industries. So we get those collaboratons to solve a problem we've never solved before."

Several organizations have already shown support for the PRISM initiative, including Fund for Our Economic Future, The Cleveland Foundation, and the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

Source: John Schober
Writer: Karin Connelly
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