A Detroit-area based consortium of 60 companies, nonprofits, and universities and a Chicago based consortium of 73 companies, nonprofits, and universities are partnering with the federal government to launch two new manufacturing innovation hubs.

President Barack Obama announced new steps in this partnership to boost advanced manufacturing, strengthen our capabilities for defense, and attract the types of high-quality jobs that a growing middle class requires. The president first announced 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 non-federal resources: One headquartered in Detroit that will focus on lightweight and modern metals manufacturing; the other in Chicago that will concentrate on digital manufacturing and design technologies.

President Obama will also launch a competition for a new manufacturing innovation institute to build U.S. strength in manufacturing advanced composites, the first of four new competitions to be launched this year. This year has been declared a year of action, and while the president will continue 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. After shedding jobs for a decade, our manufacturers have added 622,000 jobs since early 2010, including more than 80,000 over the past four months. Manufacturing production is growing at its fastest pace in over a decade, and the President is committed to building on that progress.

Today’s announcement of two new DOD-led manufacturing institutes fulfills the president’s pledge in his 2013 State of the Union to establish three new manufacturing innovation institutes from existing resources. In May 2013, the Administration launched competitions for the three institutes with a Federal commitment of $200 million across five agencies – the Departments of Defense, Energy, Commerce, NASA, and the National Science Foundation, building off the success of a pilot institute headquartered in Youngstown, Ohio. In January 2014, the first of these three institutes was announced, the new Department of Energy-led Next Generation Power Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Raleigh, N.C.

And with the opening of the competition for the next manufacturing innovation institute on advanced composites, the President is moving forward on his new pledge in the State of the Union to launch four institutes this year, totaling eight institutes supported by the Administration.

Our very own Tom Dobbins, president of the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA), responded saying, “ACMA applauds the DOE for its vision in creating these innovation institutes, especially for composites. This high-strength, light-weight material has the potential to revolutionize a whole host of products, as it has done in wind energy. This investment will enable composites to play an even greater role in wind and transform other products, including automobiles, making them lighter, safer and more fuel efficient. ACMA also commends DOE for its thorough process for developing this RFP, giving the association and the industry the opportunity to participate in two requests for information and a full-day workshop in January. ACMA has played an active role in providing input to the agency.”