The Manufacturing Research Center (MRC) is jointly run by the two campuses of the University of Illinois: the Chicago Campus and the Urbana Champaign Campus.
The Manufacturing Research Center (MRC) was founded in 1988 as a result of a grant received from Motorola. Motorola awarded grants to three Universities (each $ 200K per year, over five years, MIT, University of Illinois, Georgia Tech) to sponsor research activities on manufacturing technologies. Since then the following companies joined the MRC: GM, Ford, Caterpillar, John Deere, Ingersoll Milling Co, Rockford Acromatic, Sun Micro Systems. Current annual operating budget of MRC is about $1M.
The purpose of MRC is to be a technology power house in manufacturing related technologies. MRC has teams of engineers focused on different aspects of manufacturing technologies. Expert team of engineers focus on the
- development of new state of art manufacturing technologies,
- closely follow all of the new technologies in the world,
- disseminate these technologies to the students and member companies.
MRC is a center jointly run by the two campuses of University of Illinois (U of I): Chicago Campus and Urbana Campus. MRC draws faculty expertise from various departments within the University. It is intended to break the boundaries between departments and encourage interdisciplinary collaborative research and development activities. Under MRC, member companies pay membership fees. The fees are combined to sponsor significant focused research in areas common interest to all members.
Under MRC bylaws, a company can sponsor a project and the results of the project can be kept confidential as well as that the company can have exclusive rights to licensing technologies developed.
Current Focus Areas
- Assembly Technology
- Earth Moving Equipment Technology
- Virtual Reality Applications in Manufacturing
- Precision Systems (MEMS)
How can a company join MRC
There are two levels of membership-
1. Large company membership (for companies with annual revenues over $100M): $50 K / year.
2. Small company membership (for companies with annual revenues under $100M): $20 K / year.
The membership fees are distributed to various projects based on a well defined voting procedure among all members. In addition, once a company becomes a member, it can fund additional research projects specific to only its own technology interests without seeking a consensus among other members.