Inspiring Industry 4.0 Through University-Industry Collaboration


The Connecticut Industry 4.0 Synergistic Platform for Innovation-Rich Education (CT IN4SPIRE) Program is an integrative state-wide initiative, wherein industrial experts will leverage the state’s higher-education and industrial resources to help train and prepare the future workforce and promote growth of Connecticut’s Economy. The purpose of the CTIN4SPIRE program is to utilize Connecticut’s academic and industrial resources to help prepare students, entrepreneurs, and industry professionals for the “Industry 4.0” innovations which will soon be the leading force in the near future. Participants in the program will learn how to apply the knowledge and concepts they have taken from this initiative, along with advanced digital technologies, to improve the state’s current industrial capabilities. The program will establish a revolutionary new course hosted by the University of Connecticut, where professionals in the field will instruct a weekly seminar series, focusing on new Industry 4.0 concepts and technologies. Each seminar will be live-streamed to each of the partner sites, to help connect participating companies, sites, and individuals together on one platform. The program will also feature two workshops per semester, focusing on real-time applications of I4.0 technologies and concepts, and challenge the schools, entrepreneurs, and workforce professionals to work together in project teams to tackle current obstacles in the industry. A panel of judges will select the best projects and innovative concepts, to be developed the following semester. Students will by design and prototype their solutions using UConn facilities and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology. Other project goals are to help train students in the real-world applications of advanced Industry 4.0 technologies, to catalyze industrial relationships between students and professionals, to incentivize and motivate students to join the revolutionary and innovative 21st century workforce, and to bring a sizeable change to innovation in CT’s industrial base.


The one-credit seminar course, offered as ENGR3195/ENGR5300/OPIM4895, is entitled “Industry 4.0 and Manufacturing Ingenuity” and focuses on providing students with the experience and exposure to new and emerging technologies while fostering a strong mindset of innovation and entrepreneurship in students. The course will introduce students to technologies such as automation, cyber physical systems, informatics and advanced manufacturing, and simultaneously provide students with coordinated mentorship from faculty and industry experts. The course is centered on weekly seminars and workshops where students can apply their new knowledge to current challenges in the field. Seminars will feature invited industry professionals who will introduce cutting edge technologies and challenges they face in the field. The workshops support students’ abilities to define solutions and ideas to solve these real-world challenges, where they can integrate Industry 4.0 technologies and concepts to solve industrial problems. The speaker schedule can be found below: