OSU’s New Product Development Center celebrates 20 years of innovation and design | Oklahoma State University

OSU’s New Product Development Center celebrates 20 years of innovation and design

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Media Contact:
Brenna Long | New Product Development Center | 405-744-2856 | [email protected]

When it comes to product development, it is always good to have an ace up your sleeve.
Fortunately, Oklahoma has had that ace for two decades.

This fall, Oklahoma State University’s New Product Development Center is celebrating
20 years of research, product development and engineering services in Oklahoma.

“NPDC started in 2002 as a program committed to strengthening rural economies through
job creation focusing on Oklahomans in small, rural communities,” said Dr. Robert
Taylor, current NPDC Director.

The NPDC pilot year showed that product development assistance could have a significant
positive impact on the State of Oklahoma and began making plans to assist more small
to medium-sized manufacturers in the coming years. By focusing on rural communities,
NPDC was able to help manufacturers commercialize their innovative ideas through research,
development and implementation.

In 2010, an ECAR award was granted to NPDC to assist manufacturers in developing proposals
for state and federal funding. It also helped with the introduction of new products
and provided process innovation support for small manufacturing companies in Oklahoma.

Jennifer Vinyard, NPDC senior design engineer with NPDC since 2011, led the ECAR program
for NPDC.

“ECAR helped Oklahoma manufactures hire more individuals, increase profit margins
and capital and keep money in Oklahoma,” Vinyard said. “We looked at each project
as a chance to solve problems and create new opportunities for our clients. In a sense,
paved the way for NPDC to transition into what it is today.”

A primary driver for the NPDC success is the support and guidance from the Oklahoma
Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology.

“The OCAST effort lead to the development of the Oklahoma Innovation Model linking
OCAST, NPDC, I2E, Tom Love Innovation Hub and Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance as an
innovation team for the state,” Taylor said. “Significantly increasing the effectiveness
of all members.”

Today, the program has grown into a self-sustaining unit through various grant awards,
industry funding companies, the Inventors Assistance Service program and an assortment
of work with small to medium-sized manufacturers around the state.

“Every project, every grant or every new idea that is discussed in our building has
the opportunity to create more jobs for Oklahomans, streamline processes to save money
and overall an investment in our state,” said Jodi Prouty, NPDC assistant director.
“We want these companies to be competitive and know they can do that through innovation.”

NPDC has been awarded numerous large grants, honors and other accolades since its
inception. It has worked on projects with companies such as Roll Offs USA, GEFCO Inc.,
GoBob Pipe and Steel Sales, Texoma Manufacturing and Ram Jack Oklahoma.

In the years after its inception, NPDC expanded its capabilities and reach by adding
engineering and marketing interns, which seemingly changed the way NPDC operated.
The students brought a new level of expertise and many new ideas to the table for
the companies and NPDC staff and have continued to do so for the last 20 years.

Former intern Mac Ramsey said working with real clients and real projects was an eye-opening
and valuable experience.

“My time at the NPDC gave me the opportunity to gain real experience working with
clients and projects as well as forming long-lasting relationships with co-workers,”
Ramsey said. “The memories and experience I have from the NPDC will stay with me for
a lifetime.”

The NPDC team is excited about the future impacts of the work they are doing right
now with interns, clients and inventors and knows that the next 20 years will be just
as valuable to the state.

“Simply put, our goal is to provide engineering support to small companies and inventors
to encourage economic development in all 77 Oklahoma counties,” Taylor said.