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TechConnect West Virginia Program Helping State’s Manufacturers

December 18, 2013

South Charleston, WV – TechConnect West Virginia, a statewide economic development organization, is working to help West Virginia’s manufacturing sector grow through its Innovation Adoption Program.

The newest participant in the program is Morgantown-based FCX Systems, Inc., which will partner with the West Virginia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WVMEP) to develop equipment to serve Boeing’s new 787-10 aircraft, which comes into service in 2014.  WVMEP is housed within West Virginia University’s Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources and offers a menu of services to help West Virginia businesses improve their local and global competitiveness.

The Innovation Adoption Program is designed to help West Virginia’s small and mid-sized manufacturers benefit from the broad range of expertise available through the state’s nonprofit research and design-capable organizations. Those service providers can help employers develop new product ideas, improve their existing products, and become more efficient in their manufacturing processes. The goal is utilize West Virginia expertise to foster those companies’ growth and, ultimately, to position them to hire more workers.

FCX Systems designs and manufactures a broad line of solid-state ground support equipment for the commercial, military, industrial, and ship-shore markets. The Innovation Adoption Program will allow FCX Systems, Inc., to work with WVMEP to develop software the company needs to upgrade its 180 KVA power frequency converter, one of the company’s premier products. The equipment powers passenger boarding bridges and other on-ground support equipment in airports around the globe. WVMEP’s software development work will allow FCX Systems to upgrade its 180 KVA power frequency converter to support the new 787-10 aircraft.

The project’s goal is to support FCX Systems as it positions itself and its product for growth in the aviation industry.

Anne Barth, TechConnect West Virginia’s executive director, said the project with FCX Systems and WVMEP is a natural fit with the organization’s mission.

“An important part of Tech Connect West Virginia’s mission is to help grow our state’s economy through innovation,” Barth said. “We’re excited to help a West Virginia manufacturer like FCX Systems find and use the technical expertise at a center of excellence — in this case, WVMEP– that the company needs to continue growing.”

For FCX Systems, upgrading the software that drives its 180KVA power frequency converter is critical to the company’s growth strategy in the aviation market.

“Our company has a long history of designing, developing, and manufacturing quality products for the aviation industry,” said Craig Walker, FCX System’s CEO. “TechConnect West Virginia’s support and WVMEP’s technical expertise will allow us to upgrade one of our premier aviation products and to strengthen our position in that market.”

Jerry Biser, WVMEP’s director, said the project fits WVMEP’s mission as an innovation-based service provider for West Virginia businesses.

“WVMEP is here to help West Virginia businesses take new or improved products or processes from ideas to reality,” Biser said. “When we can help a manufacturer like FCX Systems do that, we’re fulfilling our mission to help grow our state’s economy.”

TechConnect West Virginia’s Innovation Adoption Program is supported by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. For more information on TechConnect West Virginia and the Innovation Adoption Program contact John Golden at iappm@techconnectwv.org or visit www.techconnectwv.org.

For more information on West Virginia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, visit www.wvmep.com.

For more information on FCX Systems, visit www.fcxinc.com.