Lightweight metals manufacturing institute to open in Detroit

July 23, 2014

The headquarters of a federally funded advanced manufacturing research institute operated by the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII) will open in Detroit this fall.

The $148 million ALMMII is a public-private partnership led by Ohio-based manufacturing technology nonprofit EWI, the University of Michigan, and The Ohio State University. The initiative is part of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) and is being led by the Department of Defense.

The institute is charged with moving lightweight metals out of the research lab and into tomorrow’s cars, trucks, airplanes, and ships for both the commercial and military sectors.

Operations at the facility will start with an initial staff of 10. Eventually two dozen employees will be based in the Detroit facility. The building will house offices, meeting rooms, training space, and laboratories for developing and testing technologies for manufacturing.

Beyond its R&D efforts, the institute aims to help educate the next generation of manufacturing’s technical workforce. ALMMII will engage workforce partners from the region to strengthen education and training pathways to high-quality jobs in all transportation manufacturing sectors, including the automobile, aircraft, heavy truck, ship, rail, and defense industries.

The institute will receive $70 million in federal funding over five years, matched by another $78 million from the consortium partners themselves. The funding includes $10 million from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and an additional $10 million from the state of Ohio. The New Economy Initiative, a Detroit-based nonprofit, has committed $1 million over two years for capital expenses at the headquarters.