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Policy

Two Manufacturing Hubs Named

by Andrea Widener
March 3, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 9

President Barack Obama announced last week the details of two new manufacturing innovation institutes. A Detroit consortium focusing on lightweight and modern metals manufacturing will be led by EWI, a company with headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. A Chicago-area group led by the research collaborative UI Labs will research new digital manufacturing and design technologies. Some $140 million from the Department of Defense will be matched by nonfederal sources to support the two institutes, which are part of a larger Administration push to bring together companies, academia, and government to work on major research problems facing the manufacturing industry (C&EN, Feb. 24, page 26). These institutes will join two other consortia on additive manufacturing and power electronics that are already up and running. Last week the President also announced the start of a competitive bidding process to select the group that will lead one of four additional institutes he’s pledged to create this year. That institute will focus on manufacturing advanced fiber-reinforced polymer composites. The Administration has asked Congress to authorize and support this network of manufacturing innovation institutes, but lawmakers have yet to do so.

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