The Missouri Protoplex is a reflection of the statewide ecosystem of manufacturing and technology it serves, the Missouri Protoplex is conceived as a place where industry and academia come together to research new materials and methods, prototype and test new manufacturing processes, develop workforce competencies, and solve multi-discipline problems required to bring integrated cyber-physical manufacturing systems into practical use.
Missouri Protoplex Guiding Principles
The collaborative work for which this new facility is intended and requires flexibility to move back and forth between suites of traditional lab, office, and conference spaces, and large, secure, well-appointed high-bay manufacturing lab spaces. Placing these dual work environments adjacent to one another in each discipline will allow fluidity of movement required for rapid prototyping, as well as visual transparency, to improve communication, coordination of the work, and safety for all occupants. The new facility is organized around the four fundamental disciplines of the manufacturing ecosystem itself.
Each of these individual discipline areas is characterized by and will be designed around current and evolving needs for both space and equipment in both the office/lab suites and high-bay research and production facilities, with loose-fit flexibility to accommodate the continual evolution of the work, the technology, and the relationships. To maximize interdisciplinary collaboration and facilitate communication required to leverage ideas from prototype to production, the building arranges these four discipline areas around a bright, open, and energetic central core of shared circulation, conference, and amenity spaces. Ample glazing on the interior and exterior of all levels allows the new facility to communicate both its purpose and its processes.
A $300 million gift from benefactors June and Fred Kummer established the Kummer Institute (KI) at Missouri S&T. The KI is positioning S&T as a national leader in innovation and entrepreneurship, and will bring economic prosperity to south-central Missouri. According to an economic impact study by Dr. Joseph Haslag, a professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia, a $100 million investment, on top of the Kummer investment, is projected to yield $3.5 billion in gross state product over 35 years.
Create innovative materials and resolve complex fabrication problems using:
Companies will work with S&T experts to improve functioning, precision and efficiency of existing automated manufacturing equipment. Expertise areas:
S&T engineers and scientists will explore new methods to rapidly create and test alloys to expand manufacturer's toolkit of available materials for:
Essential to Industry 4.0
A recent survey of Missouri S&T graduates indicates that the vast majority of students are going on to established companies upon graduation, showing little interest in smaller start-up companies. This is a key indicator that the campus lacks a culture of innovation and entrepreneurial thinking critical for a science and technology-focused institution. The purpose behind Missouri S&T’s new Missouri Protoplex Facility is to create a dynamic, campus-wide culture of innovation and entrepreneurialism. This new facility will be a place to forge and explore partnerships between academic research, entrepreneurial start-ups, and established companies. Additionally, the types of research spaces envisioned will support Missouri S&T’s goal of achieving the more research-intensive Carnegie R1 classification.
Goals include a facility to explore a place to manufacture an active environment not a place for startups but to partner with companies and government entities who want to avoid the issues with “Tech Park '' and having too many offices with an emphasis on being an incubator. New facilities should be able to move through to pre-manufacturing stages Like the current high bay spaces on campus, but a much larger location is connected to the main campus, but it is separated by being a creative working and professional environment industry involvement plugs into the facility but does not drive the facility.
Program Study By: Mackey Mitchell Architects