The Obama Administration announced this week the creation of two new manufacturing innovation institutes to advance US manufacturing, strengthen national security, and create high-quality jobs. Credit: Nicole Yeary on Flickr (Creative Commons License).

Manufacturing production is up, and US manufacturers are adding jobs (some 622,000 since early 2010)—but a recent $280-million investment in two new innovation institutes cements a renewed commitment to advanced manufacturing in the States.

The Obama Administration announced this week the creation of manufacturing innovation institutes, headquartered in Detroit and Chicago, that will bring the public and private sectors together to advance US manufacturing, strengthen national security, and create high-quality jobs.

Led by the Department of Defense and representing a $140-million federal commitment and $140-million match from non-federal sources, the two new regional hubs will bring together academia, industry, and government to encourage continued investment and advancement in innovative technologies that strengthen the US as a world leader in manufacturing and beyond. (America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (Youngstown, Ohio) was created in 2012 and the Next Generation Power Electronics National Manufacturing Innovation Institute (Raleigh, N.C) was established earlier this year.)

According to the White House press release:

Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing

The winning Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation – or LM3I – Institute team, headquartered in the Detroit area and led by EWI, brings together a 60-member consortium that pairs the world’s leading aluminum, titanium, and high strength steel manufacturers with universities and laboratories pioneering new technology development and research. The long-term goal of the LM3I Institute will be to expand the market for and create new consumers of products and systems that utilize new, lightweight, high‑performing metals and alloys by removing technological barriers to their manufacture.  The Institute will achieve this through leadership in pre-competitive advanced research and partnerships across defense, aerospace, automotive, energy, and consumer products industries. 


Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation

The winning Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation – or DMDI – Institute team, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois and led by UI Labs, spearheads a consortium of 73 companies, universities, nonprofits, and research labs – creating a novel partnership between world-leading manufacturing experts and cutting-edge software companies to enable interoperability across the supply chain, develop enhanced digital capabilities to design and test new products, and reduce costs in manufacturing processes across multiple industries.

(With the DMDI, it looks like Chicago is well on its way to becoming an established center of research. Just last year, it was announced that the Windy City would receive up to $120 million over five years to build a new Batteries and Energy Storage Hub led by Argonne National Laboratory.)

In heralding the creation of the two hubs, the President also announced a competition to provide $70 million for a Department of Energy-sponsored manufacturing institute devoted to advanced composites and the development of “low-cost, high-speed, and energy-efficient manufacturing and recycling processes.” The administration plans to launch a total of four institutes in 2014.

Whether coincidental or kismet, Obama’s announcement comes at a time when innovation is top of mind for manufacturing and ACerS members alike.

Executives from business and manufacturing are set to discuss critical issues—including innovation, sustainability, and strategies for success—during the rapidly approaching 4th Ceramic Leadership Summit, April 7-9 in Baltimore, Md.

If you’re a ‘C’-level exec, senior manager, or young professional on the path to management from the ceramics, glass, or greater manufacturing communities, you’ll want to be sure to secure your seat soon (early bird registration ends March 7!).

For the full slate of speakers and schedule of events, click here.

Feature Image Credit: I-5 Design & Manufacture on Flickr (Creative Commons License)