Smart Factory Institute with backing : Deutsc...
Smart Factory Institute with backing

Deutsche Messe Technology Academy goes west

Photo: Deutsche Messe

The Deutsche Messe Technology Academy, a joint venture of the Hanover-based trade fair company and the Volkswagen Group Academy, has continued its internationalisation in the USA: It opened the Smart Factory Institute in Chattanooga on October 1, 2021. This institution for industrial knowledge transfer is backed by a number of partners and is intended to stimulate innovations in industrial enterprises in the southeast of the USA. 

The Smart Factory Institute intends to focus on seven main categories: system integration, cloud computing, collaborative robotics, additive production, extended and virtual reality, big data and analytics and cyber-physical systems. The Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga is providing the infrastructure for the academy, which is located right next to the assembly plant. The institute is headed by Mary Beth Hudson who was location director of the Wacker polysilicon production plant in nearby Charleston for five years.

„A presence in the U.S. is a necessity for us. “
Thomas Rilke, division manager of the Deutsche Messe Technology Academy
For Thomas Rilke, division manager of the Deutsche Messe Technology Academy, the upcoming opening of an industry academy in the U.S. is a long-held plan and an important step: "Our drive for internationalisation is to support our internationally active technology partners in the global transfer of knowledge. A presence in the U.S., one of the world's leading industrialised countries, is therefore a necessity for us."

In Chattanooga, both face-to-face and online events are planned. The University of Tennessee in Chattanooga will also be cooperating with the new Smart Factory Institute through its industrial and organisational psychology department. The project also has the backing of the Tennessee lawmakers and Governor Bill Lee – and "starting capital" of 400,000 US dollars.