In previous blogs I have mentioned working with the California Manufacturing Technology Center (CMTC) during its start up phase. My role was to train their people on CE Marking for the Machinery & Medical Devices Directives and work with various field offices and their clients. Initially, I met with managers in their Hawthorne Headquarters in Los Angeles and then met with interested manufacturers in Long Beach and Ventura. Next I conducted a two-day training session on the EU Machinery and Medical Devices Directives at Loyola Marymount University in West Los Angeles.
Shortly after the preliminary visit I returned to California in March after first working with a Machinery Manufacturer in Buffalo, NY (where it was warm) via Chicago to meet with National Marine Manufacturers Association on a project (where it was chilly) to California (where it was pouring rain) in Ontario, Burbank and Fresno to meet with CMTC staff and interested manufacturers. I only mention the weather because it was a striking contrast to what one would normally find in New York and California at that time of year. The people were interested in CE Marking at all three sites, which resulted in follow-up meetings described in previous blogs.
It was an interesting approach to CE Marking that was being replicated in others states such as New York, where I had given an earlier presentation on CE Marking in Poughkeepsie. Because California and New York did not have a public technical assistance program, they created their own programs using some federal money, state money and charges for services rendered to create a non-profit technical effort to help businesses develop technical capabilities, including the ability to export their goods. CMTC offered assistance for ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems, ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems, compliance with FDA’s Quality System Regulation and CE Marking products for EU new approach directives such as Machinery, Medical Devices, EMC, Low Voltage and Toy Safety. Working with various CMTC Centers we put together proposals for manufacturers wanting to ship products into the EU. Today, CMTC is known as California Manufacturing Technology Consulting.
The technical delivery system in Georgia is older and more established. Georgia Tech was created by the legislature in 1885 with a desire to build a manufacturing base in the State. The idea of creating Engineering Experiment Stations (EES) was initiated in1919, anticipating federal funding that never materialized. In 1934 EES (now the Georgia Research Institute) opened at Tech with a budget of $5,000 using no federal funds. In 1946 EES used matching state funds for regional economic analysis to identify opportunities for new industry. In 1956, the Industrial Development Branch (IDB) of EES was formed – the first time there was a specific budget for industrial development research at EES. In 1960 the Georgia Assembly passed a bill replacing the 1919 EES legislation and creating an Industrial Extension Service (IES) providing technical assistance to industries.
In 1985 EES became the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) In 1994, with funding from the Georgia General Assembly to support consortia, academia and government and federal funding, the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Alliance (GMEA) was created and expanded to 18 offices statewide. Georgia is one of 14 states with an Industrial Extension Program. Conceptually, the programs operate similar to the Agricultural Extension Programs created by Federal Morrrill Acts of 1862 and 1890 for Land Grant Universities.
In Georgia as in other states that aspired to improve their industrial base, the effort to create an Industrial Extension Program was considered essential to growth. Historically, Georgia Tech has had a profound effect on the economy of the state. Healthdyne and Scientific Atlanta (now a division of Cisco Systems) are just a few of the industries that started either in a lab at Georgia Tech and/or by a Georgia Tech grad. I first began to teach CE Marking for the Machinery and Medical Devices Directives at Georgia Tech in 1992
In recent years Georgia Tech has nurtured one of the more successful federally funded Centers for Business, Education and Research (CIBER) in their College of Management and in 2008 was awarded a European Union Center of Excellence (EUCE) by the European Commission. I continues to serve on the advisory committee for CIBER, give guest lectures on campus and work with the new European Union Center of Excellence.
If you have questions regarding CE Marking to the Medical Devices Directive, Machinery directive and related Directives, you can contact me for a free preliminary consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org