A new physical product innovation center set to benefit Chicago's business future has officially opened.
The new centre dubbed ‘mHUB’ officially opened its doors during a grand opening on March 2.
The new physical product innovation center and micro-factory is designed to galvanize Chicago’s manufacturing ecosystem by generating innovative ideas, attracting world-class talent and fostering collaboration.
As well as these innovating aspects, mHub offers Chicago’s burgeoning product manufacturers access to state-of the-art facilities as well as resources to develop and bring new products to market.
The 63,000 square-foot facility offers a full product development environment along with 10 fully equipped specialty labs including a 3D printing lab, electronics lab and metal fabrication lab.
The new mHUB facility was born through the combined efforts of Chicago’s leaders in business, innovation and research, with over 100 early-stage product innovators having already joined prominent global and local manufacturers as founding members of the mHUB community.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was on hand with mHUB’s board of directors to help open the city’s new facility, and said it would help boost Chicago’s business future.
“mHUB merges state-of-the-art innovation with our city’s industrial heritage to build a brighter future for all of Chicago,” he said. “I look forward to seeing mHUB’s bold vision further strengthen Chicago’s vibrant entrepreneurial community and manufacturing ecosystem.”
Chairman of mHUB’s board of directors, Hugh Sullivan, also praised the potential benefit of the facility for the city of Chicago.
“By doing one thing exceptionally well – enabling talented innovators to develop physical products – mHUB will play a critical role in Chicago’s innovation ecosystem and drive growth for entrepreneurs, local manufacturers and the global companies that join us,” he said.
The new facility boasts more than $2.5m of prototyping and manufacturing equipment which is unsurpassed in similar product innovation centers across the US.
The facility also serves as a connection point to the larger community by partnering with established manufacturers, business accelerator programs, venture capitalists, engineering and product development consultancies, universities and providers of industry-specific business services, to provide members with access to these important services.
Chicago’s first innovation center for physical product development and manufacturing, mHUB is a co-working community of product designers and developers, entrepreneurs, engineers and manufacturers, a network of manufacturing mentors, industry experts and investors, and is a source of intellectual and economic capital.
The new innovation center has received commitments of more than $8m from its industry partners which include Marmon, Chamberlain Group, US Economic Development Administration and GE Ventures.