The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has awarded a $900,000 grant to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to support UWM’s new Connected Systems Institute (CSI).

The institute will focus on ensuring that Wisconsin manufacturers can take advantage of opportunities created by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the interconnection of sensors and computing devices embedded at all levels of the system, enabling higher levels of efficiency and reliability and achieving lower cost. The center of excellence will be the first large-scale public-private partnership in the U.S. connecting industry, academic institutions, government and nonprofit organizations.

At the consumer level, commercials for smart appliances have shown us what the Internet of Things can do in our homes. Today, our refrigerators can tell our phones when we are running low on eggs or milk. The IIoT takes this concept and applies it to industrial processes, using sensors, data networks and data analytics for everything from supply chain to customers. CSI will apply this concept in an end-to-end approach from industrial processes to data network and analytics and to business enterprise.

CSI will establish test bed facilities, conduct research and develop educational programs. UWM is devoting more than 3,000 square feet of the east wing of its library to the first phase of the institute, with the option to expand by another 10,000 square feet. When fully operational, the Connected Systems Institute will house state-of-the-art IIoT simulation lab facilities that will enable participating companies to test end-to-end production solutions, from suppliers to customers. The institute is expected to lead and support Wisconsin businesses in the next wave of the industrial revolution. Read the full story here.