University of Kentucky to be part of manufacturing institute in Detroit

lblackford@herald-leader.comFebruary 25, 2014 

The University of Kentucky will be part of a $148 million light-materials manufacturing institute in Detroit, announced today by President Barack Obama.

The American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute will receive $70 million in Department of Defense funding, with $78 million in matching support from a public-private consortium, including more than $4 million from Kentucky.

The institute is charged with developing and deploying advanced lightweight materials-manufacturing technologies, and implementing education and training programs to prepare the work force. Kentucky, with its strong aluminum-manufacturing base, stands to benefit from programs developed by the institute, said John Walz, dean of the University of Kentucky College of Engineering.

"This is a great opportunity for the college and for the university, to be a significant partner in a project of this scale and of this importance," Walz said. "Our participation in ALMMII will produce dividends for the university, for the partnership and for the commonwealth."

The institute is one of three to be created as part of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation, a White House initiative founded to help U.S. manufacturers employ leading-edge technology to become more competitive.

The University of Louisville also announced Tuesday that it would be part of a $320 million Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute in Chicago.

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