HARTFORD – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) recognized the Quiet Corner Innovation Cluster (QCIC) as this week’s “Murphy’s Monday Manufacturer” after meeting with members of the partnership recently. Established in 2016 at the University of Connecticut (UConn), QCIC provides research and development, financial, and other business resources to small- and medium-sized manufacturing companies in rural Tolland, Windham, and New London counties. Murphy helped secure $500,000 in federal economic development assistance grants from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to establish the program. Combined with investments from UConn and Connecticut Innovations, this $1.5 million partnership leverages the growth and employment potential of technology and manufacturing companies in northeastern Connecticut.
QCIC, a UConn School of Engineering program, is based in UConn’s Innovation Partnership Building. During his visit to UConn last month, Murphy heard firsthand from manufacturers about how helpful this program is to expanding their business and creating jobs, and from students about their passion for manufacturing.
QCIC is a part of the Enterprise Solution Center, the future Proof of Concept Center, and the Connecticut Manufacturing Simulation Center (CMSC). To date, QCIC has identified fourteen Quiet Corner manufacturing companies to participate in the program, and has started leveraging UConn’s expertise and facilities to help innovate, and solve problems for, several of them since launch. QCIC, along with its sister program CMSC, are expected to help 280 small- and medium-sized manufacturing companies and add almost 2,500 jobs to the Connecticut economy. QCIC aims to aid in the creation of new startups and product lines, potentially attracting millions of dollars in private investment and revenue.
“Connecticut’s Quiet Corner is anything but quiet – it’s full of dedicated business owners and manufacturers, and QCIC is helping to bring out their potential,” Murphy said. “I was thrilled to visit QCIC in Storrs last month, where I heard firsthand from UConn students and staff and local manufacturers about how the program is working. They’re a model for how public-private partnerships should work, and I’m here to support them in any way I can.”
“Many of Connecticut’s small- and medium-sized manufacturers do not have the resources to devote towards extensive research and development, or cutting-edge equipment,” according to Dr. Hadi Bozorgmanesh, director of the Enterprise Solution Center. “QCIC allows those companies to continue their day-to-day, while simultaneously leveraging UConn expertise and state-of-the-art facilities to grow their business to new heights.”
The manufacturing industry plays a crucial role throughout Connecticut communities, creating new jobs and accelerating our state’s economic recovery. Today, Connecticut’s 4,600 manufacturers account for 10% of the state’s jobs and 87% of the state’s total exports. In order to protect and grow manufacturing jobs in Connecticut, Murphy has introduced two pieces of legislation that aim to strengthen existing standards and prioritize the purchase of American-made goods, the BuyAmerican.gov Act and the American Jobs Matter Act.