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President Obama announces two new public-private manufacturing innovation institutes; new manufacturing innovation institute competition

President Obama announced two new manufacturing innovation institutes led by the Department of Defense supported by a $140-million Federal commitment combined with more than $140 million in non-federal resources: (1) a Detroit-area-headquartered consortium of businesses and universities, with a focus on lightweight and modern metals manufacturing; and (2) a Chicago-headquartered consortium of businesses and universities that will concentrate on digital manufacturing and design technologies.

Obama also launched a competition for a new manufacturing innovation institute to build US strength in manufacturing advanced composites, the first of four new competitions to be launched this year.

Lightweight And Modern Metals Manufacturing. The winning Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation (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.

There are significant challenges for new lightweight and modern metals to reach widespread commercial production. To aid in overcoming these challenges, in June 2011, the President announced the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership and the Materials Genome Initiative for Economic Competitiveness.

The winning consortium, led by EWI and headquartered in the Detroit-area includes the following members:

34 Companies: ABS; AEM; ALCOA Technology; Boeing; Comau; Easom Automation; EWI; Fabrisonic; Flash Bainite Steel; GE; Honda North American Services; Huys; Infinium; Inc.; Innovative Weld Solutions; ITW; Lockheed Martin; Luvata; Materion; MesoCoat; MTI; NanoSteel Company; Optomec; Phoenix Integration; PowderMet; RealWeld; RTI International Metals; SaCell; Southwest Research Institute (SWRI); Steel Warehouse Co.; ThermoCalc; TIMET; Trumpf, Inc.; UTRC; Wolf Robotics.

9 Universities and Labs: Colorado School of Mines; Michigan State University; Michigan Tech University; The Ohio State University; University of Kentucky; University of Michigan; University of Notre Dame; University of Tennessee; Wayne State University.

17 Other Organizations: American Foundry Society; American Welding Society; ASM International; CAR; Columbus State Community College; Conexus Indiana; DET NORSKE VERITAS; Focus Hope; International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers; Ivy Tech; Macomb Community College; MAGNET; Pellissippi State Community College; State of Kentucky; State of Michigan; State of Ohio; Southeast Michigan Workforce Intelligence Network.

Digital Manufacturing And Design Innovation. The winning Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation (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.

The integrated design, development, and production of highly complex systems, leveraging software, can speed ideas from the lab into commercial production, reduce costs, and shorten production lifecycles. There are significant challenges to integrate this ‘digital thread’ across different manufactured technologies and across the supply chain.

These challenges include establishing true interoperability, the effective and balanced management of intellectual property interests, maintaining network technology and security, workforce skills, and new organizational cultures that embrace and leverage the digital thread. Collaboration across industry, academia and government provides an opportunity to directly address these challenges in a pre-competitive way.

The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute awardee has assembled a world-class team of more than seventy organizations from across industry, including leading manufacturers and software developers, government and academia, with both broad and deep experience in all aspects of the product development process from design and prototyping to manufacturing at scale. The winning consortium, led by UI Labs and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois includes the following members:

41 Companies: 3D Systems; ANSYS; Autodesk; Big Kaiser Precision Tooling Inc.; Boeing; Caron Engineering Inc.; Caterpillar; CG Tech; Cincinnati Inc.; Colorado Association for Manufacturing & Technology; Cray; Dassault Systems; Deere & Company; DMG Mori; Evolved Analytics LLC; General Dynamics - Ordnance & Tactical Systems; General Electric; Haas Automation; Honeywell; Illinois Tool Works; Imagecom Inc. (Aspire 3D); International TechneGroup Inc.; Kennametal; Lockheed Martin; Microsoft; MSC Software; North American Die Casting Association; National Instruments; Nimbis Services Inc.; Okuma; Palo Alto Research Center; Parlec; Procter & Gamble; Product Development & Analysis; PTC; Inc.; Rockwell Collins; Rolls-Royce; Siemens; System Insights; The Dow Chemical Company; UPS.

23 Universities and Labs: Colorado University – Boulder; Illinois Institute of Technology; Indiana University; Iowa State University; Missouri University of Science and Technology; Northern Illinois University; Northwestern University; Notre Dame; Oregon State; Purdue University; Rochester Institute of Technology; Southern Illinois University; University of Chicago; University of Illinois at Chicago; University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign; University of Iowa; University of Louisville; University of Michigan; University of Nebraska- Lincoln; University of Northern Iowa; University of Texas – Austin; University of Wisconsin – Madison; Western Illinois University.

9 Other Organizations: American Foundry Society; City of Chicago – Department of Housing & Economic Opportunity; Colorado OEDIT; Commonwealth of Kentucky; Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity; Illinois Science & Technology Coalition; MT Connect Institute; Reshoring Initiative; UI Labs.

New competition. The new competition for an Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation Institute, led by the Department of Energy, will award $70 million over five years to improve the ability to manufacture advanced fiber-reinforced polymer composites at the production speed, cost and performance needed for widespread use in clean energy products including fuel-efficient and electric vehicles, wind turbines and hydrogen and natural gas storage tanks.

For example, advanced composites could reduce passenger car weight by 50% and improve fuel efficiency by about 35% without compromising performance or safety. In the wind energy industry, doubling the length of a turbine blade can quadruple the amount of electricity generated. Advances in low-cost composite materials will help manufacturers build longer, lighter and stronger blades to capture the maximum levels of wind energy and support a cost-competitive US offshore wind industry. Low-cost advanced composites are also needed to make the storage tanks for vehicles that run on hydrogen and natural gas.

DOE seeks proposals from teams of nonprofit organizations, universities, national laboratories and private industry and will make up to $70 million available over five years, subject to congressional appropriations, that must be matched by at least $70 million in non-federal commitments.

Background. The two new DOD-led manufacturing institutes fulfill the President’s pledge in his 2013 State of the Union to establish three new manufacturing innovation institutes from existing resources. In May 2013, the Administration launched competitions for the three institutes with a Federal commitment of $200 million across five agencies—the Departments of Defense, Energy, Commerce, NASA, and the National Science Foundation—building off the success of a pilot institute headquartered in Youngstown, Ohio. (Earlier post.)

In January 2014, the first of these three institutes was announced, the new Department of Energy-led Next Generation Power Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Raleigh, N.C. (Earlier post.)

With the opening of the competition for the next manufacturing innovation institute on advanced composites, the President is moving forward on his new pledge in the State of the Union to launch four institutes this year, totaling eight institutes supported by the Administration.



One hopes that this is actually beneficial for Americans.

A few hundred $million among 34 + 41 + .. corporations could barely cover officer greens fees.


Technologists will have to explain their tech and seek permission to pursue it through these corporate committees. I know they call them manufacturing innovation institutes, but they are really just filter organizations that assure no new tech threat exists for the corporations that now control our government. They will have thousands of experts to tell us why we must continue as we are.


"..are really just filter organizations that assure no new tech threat exists.." could explain many crushed EVs, laws, US 'catch-up' hybrids, decades of $billions of un-marketed fuel cell vehicles, ..

The above demands multiple pass/fail audits of '5-5-5' battery hub funding.

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