Vision with Action: A Report from the NCMS DM SIG meeting
In a DMR article last June I spoke about the first formal meeting of the NCMS Digital Manufacturing Strategic Interest Group (DM SIG). I discussed how the DM SIG is the collaborative vehicle adding action to the NCMS Digital Manufacturing vision. Well I am thrilled to say that the DM SIG continues to move forward discussing and implementing the strategies at the intersection of exploration and innovation within digital manufacturing.
Our most recent DM SIG meeting (Oct. 26-27, 2011) was hosted by Microsoft at their New England Research & Development Center, which is a research and software innovation campus located in the heart of Cambridge, Massachusetts. We are thankful that our host, Microsoft, supplied some spectacular facilities (and food) for our time together and were also thankful that the meeting wrapped up just in time to escape the northeast before the crippling snows hit the area.
In attendance were folks representing 22 organizations from 17 states including New Hampshire, California, Michigan and Texas. We had non-profits, universities, federal agencies and technology providers. Most importantly we had manufacturers including a startup with less than 10 employees (Accio Energy) and a Fortune 10 (#6 actually) manufacturer in General Electric. In total we had 30 individuals gathered together focused on the singular topic of bringing modeling and simulation capabilities to our nation’s small and medium sized manufacturers.
The robust agenda for this event included time to network, collaborate, engage and drive the shared vision. Speakers included people from Intel, Tabor Communications, Ohio Supercomputer Center, Accio Energy, General Electric, NASA Langley, 3D PDF Consortium, and others. The topics of discussion included collaborative organizational models, outreach and awareness, education, pilot engagements and regional implementation.
You can find the compete agenda for this meeting here (PDF, 1.4MB).
One of the agenda items that created quite a bit of buzz was NCMS’ initial airing of a video demonstrating the value and functionality of the national PIC strategy. A trailer for this video can be found here. NCMS will be publically rolling out more awareness tools over the coming months.
One of the most exciting outcomes from these meetings is the create collisions where organizations begin talking about areas of shared interest. During our DM SIG meeting we had private off-line discussions with some of our largest members discussing strategic partnerships and other organizations talking openly about potential collaborative pilot projects to better define the ROI for small manufacturers significantly leveraging affordable modeling and simulation technologies.