Boeing pitches collaborative manufacturing R&D model

Photo credit: Advanced Manufacturing Research Center

The world’s largest aerospace company is emerging as a key player in new manufacturing center.

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A manufacturing innovation center that Boeing supports in Sheffield, UK, and which business leaders are replicating in Oregon, has helped fill an important gap between the worlds of academia and industry, said a Boeing representative at the Oregon Business Plan Leadership Summit in Portland Monday.

Boeing’s vice president of intellectual property managment, Pete Hoffman, told attendees the company wants to take its partnership with the Advanced Manufacturing Research Center in Sheffield to a “higher level.”

Boeing is a founding partner of the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center (OMIC), a research & development and training center for advanced manufacturing, which will be located in Scappoose, Oregon.

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The maker of commercial and defense aircraft wants to have a manufacturing innovation center similar to the UK facility closer to its manufacturing facilities in the U.S. Boeing employs 1,600 people at a factory in Gresham.

An area of land in Scappoose where the facility will be built is an ideal location for the OMIC facility as it is close to Portland and Boeing’s Gresham factory, said Senator Betsy Johnson, who has advocated for the facility to be built in the state.  

Portland State University, Oregon State University and Oregon Tech will partner on the industry-driven research and development part of OMIC. Portland Community College will run the workforce training facility where students will take part in business-sponsored apprenticeships.

Economic development leaders that are spearheading the OMIC initiative are in discussions with businesses about partnering with OMIC. Hoffman said the strength of the Boeing brand can help draw in other businesses.