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Peak Performance Announces First US Smart Factory Institute

Peak Performance Inc., along with the Tennessee Chamber/Tennessee Manufacturers Association and the Deutsche Messe Technology Academy have announced the opening of the first U.S.-based Smart Factory Institute. The official opening date will be October 1, 2021, National Manufacturing Day. The Smart Factory Institute will be operated by Peak Performance Inc. in collaboration with the Volkswagen Academy Chattanooga, the Deutsche Messe Technology Academy, the Tennessee Manufacturers Association and the University of Tennessee Chattanooga.

The Smart Factory Institute is a U.S. institute that will provide manufacturers with connections, collaborative relationships and certifications for improving manufacturing processes by providing them with access to the latest technology in advanced manufacturing. The Institute is a part of a network of international academies, operated by the Deutsche Messe Technology Academy in Hanover, Germany, a joint project between Deutsche Messe and the Volkswagen Group Academy. Thomas Rilke, Division Manager of Deutsche Messe Technology Academy, said, “We are particularly excited about the opening of our first Technology Academy in Chattanooga, Tennessee. As we continue to expand our global network, it was only natural to open a location in the United States, one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world.”

Since its inception in 2009, the Deutsche Messe Technology Academy has built an international network of production technologies across the world. These academies, located in Hanover (Germany), Foshan, Nanjing, Jinan (China) and Port Elizabeth (South Africa, opening 2022) focus on specific areas of manufacturing technology.

Denise Rice, President & CEO of Peak Performance Inc., said, “COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of Industry 4.0 and the Smart Factory Institute will ease the transition for manufacturers by facilitating intensive networking between suppliers and users of key technologies to optimize production processes, leading the economic recovery of business and industry in the region. The Smart Factory Institute will provide remote and online, relevant, leading-edge training for manufacturing workers that will upskill and reskill workers for the jobs that the technology advancements bring.”

The Smart Factory Institute will work closely with the University of Tennessee Chattanooga’s Industrial and Organizational Psychology program to provide subject matter experts and best practices to approaching the workforce advancements that are a result of the upskilling of workers required by Industry 4.0.

Bradley Jackson, President & CEO of the Tennessee Manufacturers Association, said, “The Smart Factory Institute is a business-driven effort driving innovation and technology and positioning Tennessee and the U.S. southeast region as a true leader for advanced manufacturing technology. We are thankful for the strong support of this project by the Tennessee General Assembly, including the unwavering support of the Hamilton County legislative delegation. Their support sends the clear message that Tennessee is serious about advanced manufacturing.”

Peak Performance: Peak Performance is a workforce training and advising firm specializing in incumbent worker training for the manufacturing industry, serving businesses across the country from their headquarters in Chattanooga, TN.

Tennessee Manufacturers Association: The Tennessee Manufacturers Association maintains expertise and policy groups for a variety of industries and a proud history of unmatched advocacy in the state Capitol, having a hand in Tennessee’s most prominent business policy accomplishments. For more information, visit

Volkswagen Academy

Volkswagen Chattanooga’s onsite training facility, the Volkswagen Academy, is home to secondary to post-secondary education programs.