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$70 million Innovation Institute will be on West Federal in Youngstown

Published: Thu, August 16, 2012 @ 11:18 a.m.


Senior Obama administration officials today announced establishment of a $70 million National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, a partnership of 60 private and public organizations.

The program is the first if its kind in the country.

By mid-September, officials anticipate a fully operating manufacturing facility located on West Federal Street in Youngstown.

The cutting edge effort does not use traditional tooling. Costs are also reduced by not using as many raw materials.

White House officials announced a $30 million investment today, aimed at boosting technology in a three-state region, the Associated Press reported. The consortium will develop additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, which will affect a range of industries including defense, aerospace and automotive.

The partnering entities will add an additional $40 million to the pilot program, which beat out proposals from other regions in the country.

In a letter obtained by The Vindicator, written by several members of Ohio’s Congressional delegation to the Air Force Research Laboratory at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, strong support was expressed for the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute pilot program.

According to the letter, a grant proposal for the pilot program was supported by seven universities and several community colleges in Pennsylvania and Ohio, including Youngstown State University, Eastern Gateway Community College, the University of Akron and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

The proposed institute, wrote the members of Congress, would be ideal for the so-called “TechBelt” region of Pennsylvania, Northeast Ohio and West Virginia, which they said has a strong history of manufacturing innovation.

A TechBelt Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, the letter states, would “engage the entire national Manufacturing Extension Partnership network, approach manufacturing training from technician through graduate level and build an infrastructure of physical resources and applied research directed by the needs of industry partners.”

Furthermore, leading the grant proposal is the Western Pennsylvania-based National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining, which conducts work similar to M-7 Technologies by optimizing manufacturing solutions and costs that help expedite the deployment of current and yet-to-be developed defense systems.

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