Dismayed by the shortage of engineering graduates who had much—if any—exposure to motion control or fluid power in school, Parker Hannifin decided to take matters into its own hands. Over the past decade, the company has donated nearly $1 million to engineering schools to fill that void. "In the past, we could hire a business major with a high mechanical aptitude for a sales position. Today, we need engineers who are trained to solve problems and are technically knowledgeable in what we call the tri-technologies: electrohydraulics, electromechanical technology, and electropneumatics," says Larry Schrader, global motion and control training manager for Parker. To date, Parker has given funds to nine engineering schools to establish programs and laboratories in the tri-technologies. The schools, which include Purdue and the University of Illinois, are selected on the basis of their willingness and ability to make a long-term commitment to the program. To date, Parker estimates that hundreds of students have benefited. So, presumably, has industry.
Kickstarter offers a gazillion ideas for businesses that are seeking start-up funding. The crowdfunding site also features new gadgets from companies struggling to get their product out to customers. We took a look at the gadgets currently featured and found a number of cool ideas that are seeking funding angels.
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