Companies receive manufacturing grants

Two manufacturing companies in Bartholomew County are receiving grants to help incorporate technology into their operations.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp., in partnership with Conexus Indiana, announced the sixth round of Manufacturing Readiness Grant awards. Recipients include Dorel Juvenile Group, with an award of $68,600, and Precise Tooling Solutions, with an award of $167,500.

Dorel plans to use the funds to invest in robotics, including collaborative robots or “cobots,” to automate packing and handling for finished products. Precise Tooling Solutions, on the other hand, “is investing in an automated work cell that pairs cobots with a new CNC graphite mill/pallet changer and an EDM sinker machine for lights-out manufacturing.”

“Manufacturing is in Indiana’s DNA — we build things,” said Gov. Eric Holcomb. “The demand for the manufacturing readiness grants program has proven time and time again to us that these investments help Hoosiers build things better.”

The Manufacturing Readiness Grant program was launched in 2020 and was created to encourage private sector investments to modernize Indiana’s manufacturing industry. Since its inception, $17.4 million has been awarded to 212 companies in 60 counties, prompting proposed projects with combined budgets of almost $140 million and $22 million in estimated new wages.

The most recent round of awards totals nearly $4 million in grants to 43 Indiana businesses and supports a projected $46.1 million in “technology-enabled capital investment” across the state.

According to Conexus, grants are awarded as reimbursements. Companies use their own funds to complete their chosen projects and submit documentation to be reimbursed.

Grants require a minimum 1:1 match, with the recipient covering at least half of the project cost unless otherwise specified. Awardees are also expected to participate in case studies once their grant projects are successfully completed.