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Research centers have links to local companies

President Barack Obama’s designation of two new federally-funded manufacturing research institutes earlier this week has links to Ohio institutions and companies with factories here.

The president also said that later this year he’ll announce a research institution in the area of composite materials. The National Composite Center in Kettering is a leader in that type of research and is looking at options for participating.

“The NCC will be taking a serious look,” Lisa Novelli, President of the center, said.

The new research hubs will be led by the Department of Defense. Columbus-based Edison Welding Institute and the Ohio State University will co-lead the new “American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute,” or ALMMII, with the University of Michigan, Senator Sherrod Brown said. It will be based in Canton, Mich.

The other center, in Chicago, will be called the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute. The first institution created by the Obama administration is the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, or NAMII, in Youngstown. More could follow under the Obama administration’s plan.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown said the ALMMII “will establish a unique public-private partnership” that aims to create more than 10,000 new jobs in the next five years. He added that seven universities, 17 non-industry members, and 30 companies–including Alcoa, Boeing, Honda, and General Electric – will also participate.

“By developing innovative partnerships among the DoD, research institutions, like the Ohio State University, and industry organizations like EWI, we ensure that American workers and businesses have the resources they need to develop the next generation of high-tech manufacturing Industries,” Brown said.

Brown said that the idea is for each institute to serve as a regional hub of manufacturing excellence and provide “the innovation infrastructure to support regional manufacturing and ensuring that our manufacturing sector is a key pillar in an economy that is built to last. This model has been successfully deployed in other countries and would address a gap in the U.S. manufacturing innovation infrastructure.”

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