The Manufacturing Diversity Institute mission is to ensure that individuals from under-served communities succeed in manufacturing careers and businesses.
MDI will carryout this mission by designing and building diverse manufacturing communities via diversity clusters, being at the forefront of designing stronger and sustainable regional manufacturing workforce systems which includes building a customized manufacturing diversity workforce, and becoming a recognized accelerator manufacturing network.
The Manufacturing Diversity Institute, operating as a non profit, is modeled after the Institute for Innovation, Creativity, and Capital (IC²), at the University of Texas at Austin. Over 30 years ago, IC², a trans-disciplinary think-and-do tank, began pioneering what is now called Innovation Clusters. Their “Technopolis Framework” remains the leading paradigm for technology-driven economic development, emphasizing interlocking relationships between academia, business, government and communities (IC² former Director is MDI’s board chair). The analytical and creative application of this economic development framework fostered the transformation of Austin Texas into one of the nation’s most recognized entrepreneurship and innovation hubs and incubated companies such as Dell and Whole Foods.
Long before lean start-up initiatives, economic gardening initiatives, and creating an entrepreneurial revolution movements, IC²'s Technopolis Wheel was the innovation clusters' movement standard bearer. However, with all great models, a refinement opportunity is always lurking around the corner. MDI, is poised and positioned to carry on the IC² innovation legacy by using its resources to excavate under-served talent and treasures that are hidden at the bottom of the community pyramid. We will instruct cities, states, regions, and nations on how to develop systems that will allow a diverse flow of ideas in addition to creating opportunities for the exchange of new manufacturing ideas between all citizens, especially under-served citizens.
From our perspective, the framework provides a practical way to foster new entrepreneurial relationships among consortia, universities, research centers, large corporations, start-ups: federal, state, and local government: support groups; and key influencers, with the end goal of creating a multiplier effect, spurring economic growth, additional investment opportunities - and, most important, jobs and wealth creation in under-served communities.