Polaris MEP nets $400K grant to strengthen supply chain

POLARIS MEP has been awarded a $400,000 federal grant to help manufacturers expand and optimize supply chains. / COURTESY POLARIS MEP

PROVIDENCE – Polaris MEP has received a $400,000 federal infusion to help the state’s manufacturers optimize their supply chains.

With the funding, the nonprofit plans to expand or roll out new supply chain solutions over the next few months, including increased matchmaking services between manufacturers and suppliers through a nationwide “Supplier Scouting” platform; new technology capabilities; and more education and resource opportunities.

The funding, allocated in June and announced on Tuesday, will allow Polaris MEP to “link Rhode Island manufacturers to even more resources for reducing the cost, friction and risk in their supply chain,” said Polaris MEP Center Director Matt Watson.

He added, “solving supply chain challenges and promoting localized sourcing is critical to keeping high-skilled, well-paying manufacturing jobs in the U.S.”

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Polaris MEP, the state’s National Institutes of Standards and Technology [NIST] center, received the federal funding under the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. All 51 NIST centers throughout the U.S. received this same award amount.

NIST will also funding from the CHIPS and Science Act to create a national database for coordinating supplier scouting services, known as the Supply Chain Optimization and Intelligence Network.

Polaris MEP program manager Kayla Viveiros will lead grant administration efforts.

“With this dedicated funding, Polaris MEP will begin to fast-track the expansion of the Center’s supply chain services,” Viveiros said.

“Solutions are being specifically designed with the input of our state’s smaller manufacturers,” she added. “We want every manufacturing company in Rhode Island, no matter how large or small, to be able to transform their supply chain and thrive.”

Jacquelyn Voghel is a PBN staff writer. You may reach her at Voghel@PBN.com.

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