Students will meet with Lt. Gov. Gilchrist at the event to discuss their findings on Industry 4.0

Media Contacts: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications,, 248.260.8466; Nicole Kampe, Automation Alley,, 248.457.3301; Joe Steele, LIFT,

TROY, Mich.—October 29, 2019—Automation Alley, Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center and leading technology and manufacturing business association, is pleased to announce that LIFT -Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow, a Detroit-based and Department of Defense-sponsored  national manufacturing innovation institute, is hosting 89 Detroit high school students at Integr8 at Detroit’s TCF Center on November 6. The students, who attend University Prep (UPrep) Science & Math School and are taking part in LIFT’s “IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing ® curriculum in the LIFT Learning Lab in the institute’s Corktown facility, will be learning about how the smart and connected technologies of Industry 4.0 are impacting industries in Michigan. They will also have the opportunity to report back to Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist at the event about their key findings and important takeaways in a Q & A forum exclusive to the students.

 “Providing opportunities for these students to the broader world of advanced manufacturing is absolutely aligned with our mission with UPrep and the Department of Defense,” said Nigel Francis, CEO and Executive Director. “We are thrilled to work with Automation Alley to help these students better understand the future of advanced manufacturing. Thank you to Lt. Gov. Gilchrist for being able to provide invaluable interaction with the students on how smart technologies can work together to solve problems.”

Developed by a national partnership led by LIFT, and supported by funding from the Department of Defense, “IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing” is a three-year foundational competency-based educational program for the “multi-skilled technician” needed in today’s workplace. The new curriculum will introduce students to advanced manufacturing materials, processes and systems through on-line, interactive, multimedia and project-based learning built around real industry challenges. LIFT is providing the curriculum to 100 UPrep students this school year with the support of a grant from the Skillman Foundation

The UPrep students will have the opportunity to listen to keynote presentations by John Kovac, Microsoft director of U.S. Industry Manufacturing, and Martina Koederitz, general manager of IBM’s U.S. Industrial Market in North America, attend the Integr8 expo to learn about the technology options available that facilitate digital transformation, and explore the Smart Technology Zone, presented by Automation Alley partner the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, and focusing on information and hands-on demos tailored to help the supply chain better understand Industry 4.0.

“Integr8 provides a phenomenal learning environment for those seeking knowledge on Industry 4.0,” said Automation Alley Executive Director and CEO Tom Kelly. “What better way to develop talent than to inspire students by showing them the possibilities of smart and connected technologies transforming industries right now.” 

Integr8 is a cross-discipline global conference focused on the eight core smart technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, robotics, artificial intelligence, the cloud, cybersecurity, additive manufacturing and advanced materials and modeling, simulation, visualization and immersion. Integr8 attracts a global audience seeking to learn from and engage with their American counterparts. Supported by blockbuster brands including IBM, Intel, Verizon, Comcast and DTE; locally by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation; and globally by The World Economic Forum, Integr8 is expected to draw 1,000 tech and manufacturing professionals to the TCF Center in Detroit. 

Tickets and sponsorship opportunities for the day-long Integr8 conference are available at The evening before the conference, Nov. 5, Automation Alley is inviting the business community to mingle with Integr8 presenters and VIP guests at Integr8 Luminate, a strolling dinner and cocktail kick-off reception also being held at TCF Center. Tickets for Luminate are also available on the website.

About LIFT

LIFT, operated by the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII), is a public-private partnership to develop and deploy advanced lightweight materials manufacturing technologies, and implement education and training programs to prepare the workforce. ALMMII is one of the founding members of Manufacturing USA, a federal initiative to create regional hubs to accelerate the development and adoption of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies.

About Automation Alley

Automation Alley is a nonprofit manufacturing and technology business association and Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center, with a global outlook and a regional focus. We connect industry, academia and government to fuel Michigan’s economy and accelerate innovation. We offer programs, resources and knowledge to help our members grow and prosper in the digital age.

Our Mission

The mission of Automation Alley is to position Michigan as a global leader in Industry 4.0 by helping our members increase revenue, reduce costs and make strategic decisions during a time of rapid technological change.