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Advanced manufacturing institute opens in St. Pete

Veronica Brezina



A manufacturer using robotics. Unsplash image by Mech Mind.

The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute, the nation’s leading robotics and artificial intelligence manufacturing innovation institute, has opened a satellite office in St. Petersburg. 

“St. Petersburg is a perfect fit for us, with the state’s focus on the manufacturing industry and the city’s emphasis on specialized manufacturing, much of which incorporates robotics and AI. We were drawn by St. Pete’s culture of innovation,” ARM’s Chief Innovation Officer Arnie Kravitz said in a joint announcement with the St. Petersburg Area Development Corp. regarding the institute’s new office in the Tampa Bay Innovation Center. 

The Pittsburg-based ARM Institute, a Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) funded by the Department of Defense, aims to broaden the knowledge and skill base for robotics. The Institute has brought roughly $13 million in both technology and workforce projects to the region, with funding from the DOD, the Department of Commerce and the Department of Labor. 

Its local office, at 501 1st Ave. North., will focus on the investments made over the past five years in robotics, workforce development and artificial intelligence.

Suzy Teele, ARM Institute’s chief strategy officer, noted it was a logical decision to open an office in Florida as there are over 13,000 manufacturing organizations. 

“Florida is also widely recognized as a fast-growing state for technology and innovation. These facts, along with our active Florida-based projects with member organizations such as Johnson and Johnson, Lockheed Martin, and AmSkills, among others, convinced us that we could further our regional support and execute our mission on a significant level by opening an office in this region,” Teele wrote on the Institute’s page

The St. Pete EDC said it has connected the Institute with local companies, and companies considering opening a St. Petersburg site.

Pinellas County has the largest manufacturing base within the local eight-county region and employs the third highest number of manufacturing employees in the state of Florida, primarily in electronics and medical device manufacturing, according to the EDC. 

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