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Vice president Biden lauds composite institute's Detroit impact

News International-French

18 Sep 2015

Vice President Biden commended the composite institute’s decision to locate an industry collaboration facility in Detroit.

The facility will support production-scale composite materials development focused on vehicle lightweighting in collaboration with automotive companies. The scale-up facility is part of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), a national institute announced by President Obama with Vice President Biden in January as part of the president’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) initative.

This is the second NNMI institute to be located in Detroit. The composites facility will be co-located with the Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT) institute — also part of the NNMI initiative. It is a compelling exemplar of the President’s vision of networked institutes.

“Lightweighting is critical to our future…We want to own the 21st century in innovation and composites are a big part of that goal. That’s why we’re making a $40 million investment in composites in the Composites Institute [IACMI] co-locating in a facility in Detroit,” said Vice President Joe Biden.

The composites scale-up facility will be run by Michigan State University, which leads IACMI’s vehicle technology area in Detroit. The building is located in a previously abandoned and distressed facility in Corktown, the oldest neighborhood in Detroit. The 100,000 square foot facility has already been extensively renovated through collaborative efforts with Michigan Economic Development Corporation, The New Economy Initiative and Mayor Duggan’s office.

“This project shows how the government can collaborate with the private sector and Michigan’s world-class universities on innovative approaches that will be the future of the auto industry,” Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said. “Michigan is the perfect location for a project that will provide opportunities for collaborative research and the development of new materials that will make cars better worldwide – keeping and growing the number of jobs here.”

Michigan has more than 300 industrial technical centers related to automotive technology and conducts more than 70 percent of US automotive research and development. “IACMI’s technology areas are strategically located in America’s manufacturing heartland to serve industry needs,” said Craig Blue, IACMI’s CEO. “Co-locating with LIFT in the Motor City reinforces our commitment to collaboration through partnerships that enhance the entire automotive ecosystem.”

Both IACMI and LIFT are identifying applications for lighter materials in next generation vehicles, IACMI via advanced composites and LIFT via lightweight metals. Locating in the same facility provides a unique opportunity for collaboration between NNMI institutes and the automotive industry, who have identified the need of lightweight materials to meet goals for fuel efficiency, safety, and performance.

Support of this co-location is evidenced by numerous federal, state, industry and local commitments to the city Detroit and this shared facility. Approximately $12 million in Federal funding will come to the city of Detroit for cost-shared development projects; the state of Michigan has committed $15 million for equipment and staffing; industrial support is valued at $18 million, and the city of Detroit is supporting IACMI’s efforts to establish the vehicle scale-up facility.

Several hundred new jobs in the industrial sector are expected as a result of the commercialization successes facilitated by this pilot-scale facility managed by IACMI.

About IACMI:
The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) is a partnership of industry, universities, national laboratories, and federal, state, and local governments working together to benefit the Nation’s energy and economic security by sharing existing resources and co-investing to accelerate development and commercial deployment of advanced composites.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) led the efforts to create and establish IACMI. The national Institute is sponsored by a $70 million commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office and $189 million from IACMI’s partners. IACMI, an Institute within the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation is committed to delivering a public-private partnership to increase domestic production capacity, grow manufacturing and create jobs across the US composite industry.

About LIFT:
LIFT, operated by the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII), is a DoD-sponsored, industry-led institute dedicated to lightweight metals manufacturing innovation. Its mission is to accelerate the development and application of lightweight metal production and component manufacturing technologies to benefit the U.S. transportation, aerospace, and defense industries.   ALMMII officially opened LIFT headquarters, the site of the IACMI composites scale-up facility, in January 2015 after completion of extensive renovations.   LIFT is managed by the Office of Naval Research on behalf of the DoD.