Study finds state manufacturing grants show strong returns

A study has found that Indiana manufacturers awarded state grants to invest in their businesses are growing revenues, boosting wages and adding jobs.

Conexus Indiana said a report measuring the impact of the statewide Manufacturing Readiness Grants program found the $138.9 million in technology adoption projects spurred by the grants resulted in a 26% internal rate of return for the state.

“Our data show that Indiana companies and the state of Indiana are clearly benefiting from the Manufacturing Readiness Grants program,” said Ryan Henderson, Conexus Indiana’s director of innovation and digital transformation. “Automation and advanced technologies continue to help companies grow and add new positions, providing additional opportunities for Hoosiers to succeed in the advanced manufacturing industry.”

The manufacturing grant program was launched in 2020 as part of the Indiana Economic Development Corp.’s Economic Activity Stabilization and Enhancement program and was extended through a separate appropriation from the Indiana General Assembly in 2021. Since inception, $17.4 million in matching grants through 212 awards have been made to stimulate private sector investments in technologies including next-generation machines, cobots, machine vision and additive manufacturing to modernize Indiana’s manufacturing industry.

The Manufacturing Readiness Grants Program 2022 Impact Report analyzed data from nearly 170 projects to determine technology adoption trends and identify how and why those technologies are being deployed in manufacturers’ operations. A separate survey of 75 grant recipients showed the program’s impact on jobs, wages and company revenue.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Companies that adopted a smart manufacturing technology on average added five new positions; and also anticipated wages to grow on average $196,000 per project.
  • The average revenue impact to companies was $2.5 million, with 37% of those companies reporting anticipated revenue growth of more than 10%.

In its review of projects supported by the grants, Conexus found as automation and advanced technologies become more pervasive in manufacturing operations, companies added jobs and increased wages.

Conexus also found small- to medium-sized companies accelerated technology adoption to a pace similar to their larger counterparts to support growth and improve productivity.


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