Detroit Web Portal for Advanced Manufacturing Goes Global


In an effort to expand access and increase traffic globally,, a web portal targeted to advanced manufacturing, will now be available in five different languages: Chinese, English, French, German, and Italian.

Launched last year, the portal serves as a neutral online site where professionals in advanced manufacturing can showcase capabilities, technologies, and needs, and then privately connect with fellow inventors and commercializers to explore technology and business development.

“Because we have a novel concept and a novel community, it takes some thinking and reading (to understand this website),” says Jayson D. Pankin, president and CEO of AutoHarvest. “We felt that we’d have the maximum impact by offering the public end of the site in multiple languages, when people are first trying to figure out what it is.”

An example of some of the website’s activity includes posting technologies to either sell or license out, Pankin says. “If you go into our system today, you can read about Ford Motor Co.’s new rear seatbelt that has an air bag in it. You can click on it and directly communicate with the person at Ford who is responsible to license it to other parties,” he says.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Department of Homeland Security and automotive suppliers may post a need for a certain technology platform. “We have over 200 organizations that (access the members-only portion) of our website, and they range from giants like Ford, GM, and Chrysler to two guys and a dog in a garage,” Pankin says.

The new language offerings were made possible through the non-profit’s relationship with Omnia Group, a translation service provider based in Sassulo, Italy. The company, which acquired Detroit-based IteroText earlier this year, was interested in beefing up its focus in the automotive sector and offered its services pro-bono.

“It creates a win-win situation because a significant number of our members are industrial companies that have locations and products that go into multiple global markets and ultimately need different forms of translation,” Pankin says. “By being visible to our membership, it should play to their benefit. (Omni Group) also genuinely likes the idea of seeing a global community of technologists come together, so they like what we’re doing.”