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Economy and Business

NASA Glenn invites small business to pick its experts brains
NASA, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and MAGNET sponsor a competition open to any Cuyahoga County small business with a product problem

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Courtesy of MAGNET
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For a second year, NASA Glenn  is inviting local businesses to pick its scientists’ brains. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the Manufacturing Innovation Project that started here and is spreading nationwide.

LISTEN: How the idea works

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NASA  does rocket science. But it also fills other roles. And for NASA Glenn in Cleveland, that includes a partnership with the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, Cuyahoga County and the city of Cleveland.

Magnet’s Greg Krizman says it’s designed to give small businesses a boost  “by offering to the manufacturing community a chance to have their problem solved with  a …  new product, or an existing product, or something that is keeping the product from selling to its best capability.”

Manufacturing Innovation Project

Open to Cuyahoga County companies

Selected companies get free engineering expertise from NASA experts and could qualify for low-interest loans from the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. Applications, online at

Deadline: Aug. 7, 2013. 

Krizman says NASA offers  assistance with metals, power systems, communications, electronics, medical equipment and even – as it discovered in the inaugural year of the program last year – new ways to produce vinyl records.

Winners of the competition get more than just NASA’s expertise. Cleveland and Cuyahoga County have pooled $270,000 for low-interest loans for other help in solving the challenge.

“Interestingly enough, last year,…  some companies used it, some companies didn’t. (But) they were really interested picking the brainpower of the experts over at NASA over  the money practically,” Krizman says.

Twenty-one companies submitted applications last year, and nine won NASA’s assistance. This year, 40 companies showed up at the initial briefing and they and others can submit applications through the Web site  through Aug. 7.

Krizman says other NASA communities are designing similar programs based on Glenn’s success.
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