Preparing the next-generation smart manufacturing workforce
WEST LAFAYETTE, IN–Global professional services company Accenture and Purdue University have agreed on a five-year commitment that will help prepare a next-generation smart manufacturing workforce. Out of the deal will come the Accenture Smart Factory, which will provide instructional laboratories, design studios, and spaces where students can collaborate on smart-manufacturing projects. Accenture will also provide funds for qualified students to receive the equivalent of in-state tuition every year for up to four years. The program will include a Women in Manufacturing scholarship designed to attract more women to manufacturing fields and drive inclusion and diversity in the industry.
Minnesota invests in small businesses
MINNESOTA–State leaders in Minnesota are launching a $34.5 million venture capital program that will distribute federal funds to small business entrepreneurs and other venture capital funds. The money stems from a $97 million federal funding package that Minnesota secured last month through the federal government’s American Rescue Plan Act, and the funds are specifically earmarked for small business assistance. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development will receive the money from the federal government in tranches; the department will then pass the dollars on to the University of Minnesota, which will make the final call on where to invest them.
Using AI to support donated kidney matchmaking
ST. LOUIS, MO–With a $1.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation, researchers from Missouri S&T and Saint Louis University’s School of Medicine are investigating how AI can support matchmaking between donated kidneys and transplant centers. The goal is to reduce the shortage of organs and increase their utilization. Mark Schnitzler, professor of surgery at SLU’s School of Medicine, said in a press release, “Doctors, clinicians, and humans faced with identical information but at different times frequently make different choices, even though the situation isn’t different. An organ used on one day might be discarded on a different day even if it’s identical, even if the potential recipients are identical.”