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

Troy, Mich. – September 30, 2021 – Automation Alley, Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center and a World Economic Forum Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMHUB) for North America, is pleased to be a recipient of a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship through its Build to Scale Program. This is Automation Alley’s first time receiving the grant, which was awarded for Automation Alley’s Industry 4.0 Accelerator (I4.0 Accelerator) and announced today at an event held at TechTown Detroit.

EDA’s Build to Scale Program presents grants to organizations that are aiding companies in developing the next generation of technologies. These organizations may be operating initiatives to unlock investment capital across a region or sector, operating programs to accelerate company growth, empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs, and/or enabling technology commercialization. This year’s Build to Scale Program has two components – the Capital Challenge and the Venture Challenge. Automation Alley’s award is part of the Venture Challenge, which seeks to support entrepreneurship and accelerate company growth in communities, regions, or combinations of regions; the Capital Challenge aims to increase access to capital in communities where risk capital is in short supply.

“There is an urgent need for manufacturers to understand and adopt Industry 4.0 technologies, and a great risk in not doing so,” said Tom Kelly, Executive Director and CEO of Automation Alley. “This national funding award from the Build to Scale Program will allow Automation Alley’s Industry 4.0 Accelerator to bolster our region’s competitive position in the Fourth Industrial Revolution by amplifying startups’ efforts to fortify and expand Michigan’s Industry 4.0 ecosystem.”

Automation Alley will use the money from the Build to Scale Program to grow the I4.0 Accelerator, aiming to attract best-in-class advanced manufacturing technology companies from around the world and find pathways for these firms to provide a meaningful impact to our domestic value chain, using Michigan’s existing manufacturing base as a gateway catalyst. It will also work to provide high-value match-making and accelerated commercialization opportunities for domestic startups and small manufacturers to bring their I4.0 technologies directly into Michigan manufacturing operations.

The I.40 Accelerator is powered by Lawrence Technological University’s Centrepolis Accelerator and the Lean Rocket Lab. Its mission is to attract startups from around the world that are developing the next generation of manufacturing technologies. Manufacturing and technology startups that are accepted into the I4.0 Accelerator receive a combination of capital, programming, and contracted services from partner organizations.

To learn more about the Automation I4.0 Accelerator or to apply, visit

About the Economic Development Administration (EDA)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

About Automation Alley
Automation Alley is a World Economic Forum Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMHUB) for North America and a nonprofit Industry 4.0 knowledge center with a global outlook and a regional focus. We facilitate public-private partnerships by connecting industry, education and government to fuel Michigan’s economy and accelerate innovation. Our programs give businesses a competitive advantage by helping them along every step of their digital transformation journey. We obsess over disruptive technologies like AI, the Internet of Things and automation, and work hard to make these complex concepts easier for companies to understand and implement. Visit

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 think strategically during a time of rapid technological change.