Central Arkansas will play host next month to a two-day, first-of-its-kind Arkansas Manufacturing Innovation Summit where companies across the state will be able to spotlight cutting edge manufacturing innovations and technologies, organizers say.
The summit, hosted by Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions (AMS), will be held at the fast-growing Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub in North Little Rock on April 29-30. The event will be held just days ahead of the first Maker Faire festival ever to be held in Central Arkansas in conjunction with the Argenta Arkansas Festival on May 2.
AMS Spokesman Andy Capel said it was no accident that the summit was planned just ahead of the eclectic Maker Faire festival, where more than 3,000 tech enthusiasts, crafters, entrepreneurs, engineers, science clubs, students and commercial exhibitors are expected to descend on the North Little Rock community.
Capel said AMS, which is part of the Arkansas Science & Technology Authority, already actively participates in a number of activities at the Innovation Hub, and will have a major presence at the region’s first Maker Faire event.
SUMMIT TO PUSH NEXT-GEN MANUFACTURING IDEAS TO ARKANSAS COMPANIES
He added that the goal of the manufacturing summit is to bring together companies across the state that are involved in next-generation manufacturing processes that generate revenue and jobs, increase productivity, improve quality, and add to those businesses’ bottom line.
“There are a number of Arkansas companies that are looking for new ways to grow through innovation,” Capel said. “This will help some of the (traditional) manufacturers to change their view of (blue collar) jobs. We believe that all of the new technology that is out there is connected to manufacturing, and this will allow them to see those things up close.”
Currently, event organizers for the manufacturing summit are still working on the full list of presenters, speakers and panelists that will be on the event’s agenda, Capel said. Some of the topics for those presenters and panel discussions include 3D printing, robotics, automation, supply chain development, technology acceleration and current workforce challenges and solutions.
Capel said summit presenters on tap will include some of the top “forward-thinking voices” in manufacturing innovation from Arkansas and across the nation. He said presenters work for companies currently using and perfecting advanced manufacturing.
“They’ll share their insights on working smarter, faster, and leaner so that others can take advantage of innovation technology and create their own solutions,” he said. “Our mantra for the event is ‘staying ahead of the curve and not fall behind.’”
In addition, Robert Tucker, president of The Innovation Resource Consulting Group in Santa Barbara, Calif., will be the keynote speaker at the summit. Tucker is an internationally recognized leader in the field of innovation, and his keynote address is appropriate titled, “Staying Ahead of the Innovation Curve.”
Capel said AMS will soon launch a new website with registration and promotional information regarding the Arkansas Manufacturing Summit. You can stay up on the progress through AMS’s web site.