President Obama announces two new public-private manufacturing innovation institutes

February 26, 2014

President Obama has announced the establishment of 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 nonfederal resources.

The Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation (LM3I) Institute, based in the Detroit area and led by EWI, brings together a 60-member consortium that pairs 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 use new, lightweight, high‑performing metals and alloys by removing technological barriers to their manufacture. The institute will achieve this through leadership in precompetitive advanced research and partnerships across defense, aerospace, automotive, energy, and consumer products industries.

The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation (DMDI) Institute, based in Chicago and led by UI Labs, is a consortium of 73 companies, universities, nonprofits, and research labs that combines manufacturing experts and 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.

Each institute serves as a regional hub, bridging the gap between applied research and product development by bringing together companies to provide an opportunity for education and training of students and workers at all levels. They also offer their shared assets to help companies, most importantly small manufacturers, access the cutting-edge capabilities and equipment to design, test, and pilot new products and manufacturing processes.