The University of Pittsburgh has been chosen to partner with a Middle Eastern manufacturing consortium to help lead a new wave of advanced manufacturing and education.

Pitt’s agreement with the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit (GMIS), based in Abu Dhabi, will support students’ education and the manufacturing industry here, says Dr. David Vorp, Pitt’s John A. Swanson Professor of Bioengineering and the Swanson School of Engineering’s Associate Dean for Research.

Rather than manufacture products, GMIS facilitates synergy around AI, robotics and additive manufacturing fields such as 3D printing.

One example of a potential impact on local manufacturing is researching powdered compounds used in 3D printing, adds Vorp.

Having a global group like GMIS could address supply chain issues, Vorp tells NEXTpittsburgh. “Having this global manufacturing presence … could allow that crucial material to be identified somewhere else or circumvent the bottleneck to get that product where it needs to go.

“It’s all about the connectivity it could bring,” Vorp says. “It makes the world smaller.”

Dr. David Vorp

Dr. David Vorp, John A. Swanson Professor of Bioengineering and Associate Dean for Research at Pitt’s Swanson School.

Namir Hourani, managing director of GMIS, said his organization is looking to partner with “world-class, research-focused” institutions such as the University of Pittsburgh, which is dubbed R1, the highest tier research rating among American colleges and universities. The school’s location provides an added incentive.

“The city of Pittsburgh is a major center for technological innovation and advanced manufacturing in the United States and across the world, and this partnership will provide a platform for us to jointly showcase best practices from the city on the world stage,” says Hourani.

The agreement with Pitt comes roughly six months after the city won a bid to host the inaugural GMIS America summit, which will take place in 2022 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. As the first American city to join the partnership, Pittsburgh plans to host a GMIS satellite event every year.

The relationship with GMIS began with a visit by a Pittsburgh delegation to Dubai in 2018, organized by the American Middle East Institute, which was followed by visits from GMIS organizers to Pittsburgh, as we reported in NEXTpittsburgh last year.