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12th October 2017, Detroit, MI

Manufacturing USA institutes unveil Detroit investment

Two Manufacturing USA institutes, The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) and LIFT-Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow, celebrated Manufacturing Day last week, by cutting the ribbon on and hosting an open house at the new IACMI/LIFT manufacturing innovation facility in Detroit, MI.

The centre houses the LIFT headquarters and the IACMI Vehicles Scale-Up Facility, the research and development hub for the IACMI Vehicles Technology Area. This event capped a near US$ 50 million investment in world-class manufacturing equipment value and improvements to the Corktown facility, recognising the future of innovative research in both composites and metals to be done there.

The event included more than 160 Detroit-area K-12 students participating in hands-on STEM activities. © IACMI/LIFT

The event included more than 160 Detroit-area K-12 students participating in hands-on STEM activities, and comments from Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, US Senator Debbie Stabenow, Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon, and many other leadership stakeholders for both institutes.

Combined investment

The institute’s co-location was announced in 2015 and one year later, the two institutes celebrated their combined investment in the innovation centre, which began the acquisition and installation of equipment in the joint facility. IACMI and LIFT’s investments have allowed institute members, partners, and others in the industry to conduct research and development projects, in both lightweight metals and advanced composites.

It also continues to provide education spaces for students and adult learners focused on developing careers in the composites and lightweight materials industries.

“I appreciate the incredible investment that these two world-class research and development institutions are making in our state and the city of Detroit,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “With Michigan’s talented workforce and reinvented business climate, I am confident that this partnership between IACMI, LIFT and our state will be an extremely prosperous one.”

Opening doors to students

Manufacturing Day is a national celebration of modern manufacturing, encouraging the next generation of STEM-workers to recognise the innovative possibilities of the future of manufacturing in the US. Last year’s Manufacturing Day reached more than 267,607 students, and had more than 595,000 participants overall. This year’s national event continues to grow, and the IACMI/LIFT ribbon cutting engaged a large audience of K-12 students, Michigan government and state university stakeholders, Michigan State University engineering students, and industry professionals from across multiple states.

The Detroit-area students participating in the event engaged in hands-on STEM events such as building hover-crafts out of compact discs, and creating an automobile out of different materials and testing the characteristics through virtual reality. They also had the opportunity to tour the facility and speak with engineers and MSU engineering students about career options.

“Being headquartered in Detroit, it is critical for our institute to open our doors to Detroit-area students to learn about LIFT and to understand the opportunities for engineering careers and innovative research that will affect the future of the auto industry – and is being done right here in our community,” said LIFT Executive Director, Lawrence E. Brown. “We appreciate the support from the US Department of Defense, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, our founders at the University of Michigan, the Ohio State University and EWI, as well as our LIFT members who have engaged in this facility and continue to support the future innovations that will be made here.”

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