GE and Local Motors Announce Fuse, a New Business Model for Agile Manufacturing

GE and Local Motors announced Fuse, a radical new approach to manufacturing that accelerates product and technology development by combining open innovation with small batch manufacturing.

The digital community for this new model convenes entrepreneurs, scientists, coders, engineers, makers around the world to solve product development challenges ranging from non-invasive testing technologies to in-situ imaging equipment and beyond.

Physical operations for Fuse will come to life in micro-factories designed to bring together GE teams, customers, entrepreneurs, student groups and more.  Micro-factory operations will include rapid prototyping, small-batch manufacturing, and modular experimentation. The initial Fuse micro-factory will open its doors in Chicago this December.

“For the world’s leading digital industrial company, Fuse is the path to accelerated manufacturing innovation. With Fuse, we’ll convene brilliant minds and agile manufacturing hubs to transform product and technology innovation,” said Dyan Finkhousen, Director of Open Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing for GE Global Operations.

The first Fuse micro-factory, launching in December, will focus on non-destructive testing solutions within medical equipment imaging and product inspection disciplines. The inaugural innovation challenge, which opens November 8th - “CT Scan Image Compression” - will invite global collaborators to help solve the complex task of making scans easier to store and transmit to experts who know how to read them.  With this launch, Fuse joins GE’s Innovation Network – a global, connected ecosystem of accelerators, startups, and innovators.

The creation of Fuse also serves to officially launch a new division within Local Motors called Forth. While Local Motors uses co-creation and micro-manufacturing to bring vehicles to market, Forth provides the platform and services that makes co-creation possible for clients across a variety of industries including, GE and Airbus Group.

“By fully embracing co-creation, GE has put itself at the forefront of manufacturing innovation,” said Elle Shelley, executive vice president of Forth and CMO of Local Motors. “Fuse is a shining example of the powerful outcomes we can achieve with collaboration.”

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