White House launches new manufacturing innovation institutes

Washington, Feb 26: US President Barack Obama Tuesday announced the launch of two new public-private institutes for manufacturing innovation in the administration’s latest effort to boost advanced manufacturing and spur high-quality jobs.

The two manufacturing innovation institutes are led by the Department of Defence and supported by more than $280 million, half from the federal government and half from private partners, Xinhua reported.

One of the manufacturing innovation hub is based in Detroit, with a focus on lightweight and modern metals manufacturing. The other is located in Chicago, which will concentrate on digital manufacturing and design technologies.

“The country that gets new products to market faster and at less cost, they’ll win the race for the good jobs of tomorrow,” said Obama at the White House as he introduced the two new institutes.

The announcement fulfils Obama’s pledge in his 2013 State of the Union address to establish three new manufacturing innovation institutes in partnership with the private sector. In January, he announced the first one — an Energy Department-led project in north Carolina.

It also marked another step toward Obama’s vision for a full national network of up to 45 manufacturing innovation institutes, which will also require legislation from Congress.

Obama has declared 2014 a year of action. The White House said while Obama continues to work with Congress on new measures to create jobs and grow the economy, he will also use his executive authority to get things done.

The White House said each institute serves as a regional hub, bridging the gap between applied research and product development by bringing together companies, universities and other academic and training institutions, and federal agencies to co-invest in key technology areas.

IANS