DOD to Lead Manufacturing Innovation Institutes

The Defense Department will spearhead two new manufacturing innovation institutes, announced President Obama on Tuesday. “If we want to attract more good manufacturing jobs to America, we’ve got to make sure we’re on the cutting edge of new manufacturing techniques and technologies,” said Obama. The Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation Institute, based in Detroit, will focus on researching and developing lightweight, high-performing metals and alloys. However, the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, based in Chicago, will focus on enhancing digital capabilities. A consortium of businesses and universities will collaborate with both institutes. The federal government will provide $140 million in support of the project and the private sector has committed an additional $320 million over the five-year agreement period, states the Feb. 25 release. “Both consortia announced today will play commanding roles in the advancement of key US strengths,” said Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics. “The innovation institutes will strengthen the nation’s advanced manufacturing capabilities, promote the development of cutting-edge products and systems, and attract well-paying jobs to support a growing middle class,” he said.