HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL, February 10, 2020 – Omron Foundation, charitable arm of global technology and factory automation pioneer Omron, recently made a monetary gift along with state-of-the-art robotics equipment to California State University, Chico (Chico State) for a new and expanded mechatronics laboratory and classroom space.

The planned 2,505-square-foot learning environment will feature mint-condition industrial equipment of the type that’s currently being used in next-generation factories worldwide. With this exciting new development, Chico State seeks to interest more engineering students in robotics studies and provide them with the skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing portion of the workforce.

“Omron’s mission is to improve lives and contribute to a better society, and a large part of this effort involves educating today’s students to help solve tomorrow’s problems,” said Nigel Blakeway, chairman and CEO of Omron Management Center of America and president of Omron Foundation. “We are honored to be able to help the next generation of robotics talent gain the skills necessary to innovate and thrive in the future.”

“We saw a strong opportunity with Chico State to give a bright and hardworking group of students the opportunity to work directly with state-of-the-art automation equipment, the sort that they will likely encounter in their first engineering jobs right out of school,” says Robb Black, president, CEO and COO of Omron Automation Americas.

"It has been a great pleasure for us to work with the university and their exceptional engineering department."

Robb Black | President and CEO of Omron Automation Americas

Chico State boasts the nation’s first accredited program in mechatronics engineering and the addition of cutting-edge equipment will make the university an even more attractive option for students interested in the subject. Laboratory construction began in summer 2019 and opened for classes in the spring 2020 semester. Omron is glad to have been able to help the university meet its goals for expansion.

“We are grateful to Omron for its vision, leadership and generosity,” said CSU, Chico President Gayle Hutchinson. “The Omron Mechatronics CoLab at Chico State will enable the University to build an exciting leading-edge lab where we can prepare students as the next generation workforce. It will be a collaborative space that will inspire research and have a transformative impact on our students, faculty, region, state and country.”

Nick Repanich, a lecturer from Chico State’s Department of Mechatronic, Engineering and Sustainable Manufacturing, also expressed gratitude for the gift. “We need a place where when you’re an engineering student and you think mechatronics and robotics are cool, there’s a place you can come to be inspired, work on projects, and learn about it. You need a place where mechatronics is all around you. We don’t currently have a place like that.”

Both Omron and Chico State look forward to seeing how the new lab will inspire more students to engage with the emerging field of mechatronics and embark upon a career in helping to build the factories of the future.

About California State University, Chico

California State University, Chico is the second-oldest institution in the 23-campus CSU system, the nation’s largest public university system. Founded in 1887, Chico State enrolls approximately 17,000 students and serves as the comprehensive university of the North State, the 12-county region where the campus is located. The campus is consistently ranked as one of the best regional public universities in the Western United States and recognized for its quality of education, affordability, value, and alumni success. Its mission includes enduring commitments to academic distinction, transformative student experiences, prominent scholarship and innovation, and a culture of excellence and accountability. With strategic priorities of equity, diversity, and inclusion; civic and global engagement; and resilient and sustainable systems, Chico State is working to solve the unprecedented global challenges of the 21st century.

About OMRON Foundation, Inc.

Founded in 1989, the OMRON Foundation, Inc. (OFI) was established to coordinate the charitable efforts of all OMRON offices in the US to achieve the greatest positive social impact. The OMRON Foundation is a not-for-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is funded by OMRON's subsidiaries in North America, who contribute a portion of their sales. OMRON Foundation provides support for disaster relief, basic needs (food, clothing and shelter), disabilities, STEM education, health and wellness and Japanese-American cross-cultural enrichment.

About OMRON Corporation

OMRON Corporation is a global leader in the field of automation based on its core technology of "Sensing & Control + Think". OMRON's business fields cover a broad spectrum, ranging from industrial automation and electronic components to automotive electronic components, social infrastructure systems, healthcare, and environmental solutions. Established in 1933, OMRON has over 35,000 employees worldwide, working to provide products and services in 117 countries. In the field of industrial automation, OMRON supports manufacturing innovation by providing advanced automation technologies and products, as well as through extensive customer support, in order to help create a better society. For more information, visit OMRON's website at: https://www.omron.com/