Once it all gets rolled out, the Grid will have a marketplace where you can invest in software, processing power, training and expertise. But that doesn’t mean the Grid is just a sales tool, or at least, it’s not intended as some profit-minded e-Commerce monster.
The Grid Initiative is a collaboration. Hopefully, it’s owned by everybody, because the only way it will work is if everybody, or almost everybody, gets aboard. It’s managed by the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, a nonprofit founded to provide solutions that benefit North American industry. But the decisions are steered by the Digital Manufacturing Strategic Interest Group, and that’s open to everybody – you, me, software vendors, computer manufacturers, whoever. Competitors sit side by side on it, that’s part of the point. No one interest dominates.
So yes, money can change hands on the Grid (eventually, it’s still young), but we see it not as selling this stuff so much as making it as easy as humanly possible for manufacturers to get access to it.