The U.S. Department of Defense awarded $70 million to UI Labs of Chicago, a public-private partnership that will combine the award with $16 million in state funds and other contributions to form a Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute.
“The $175 million DMDI will apply the newest technologies to help manufacturers try and use new innovations in digital manufacturing and design, with an emphasis on defense manufacturers,” Governor Pat Quinn’s Office said. “This will mean better products, faster production and lower costs for U.S. manufacturers. The $16 million state investment in DMDI includes the launch of the Illinois Manufacturing Lab, additional equipment and workforce training, and providing Illinois companies with the assistance they need to utilize the DMDI.”
"This announcement is part of my vision to make Illinois the capital of high-tech manufacturing and provides more proof we are making a comeback," Governor Pat Quinn
said. "After I made advanced manufacturing a priority in my 2013 State of the State, we aggressively pursued this opportunity for high-tech manufacturing and innovation for Illinois. My favorite words are made in America and made in Illinois, and this partnership will create high-tech manufacturing jobs across both our state and nation for years to come."
In December Governor Quinn’s Office, the University of Illinois and UI LABS launched the Illinois Manufacturing Lab, a critical first step in development of DMDI. The lab helps Illinois
companies identify and solve advanced manufacturing challenges. The state also invested $60 million in the Blue Waters supercomputer at the U of I, a critical asset to enable innovation in manufacturing, and secured a $12 million workforce training grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to support high-tech skills development for employees at Illinois manufacturers.
“I am very excited to hear Illinois was selected to house the new Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, one of three manufacturing institutes the President announced in last year’s State of the Union. Led by UI LABS, and with partners from across the state, this federal and state funded public-private partnership has the potential to revolutionize the way the United States approaches manufacturing,” U.S. Senator Richard Durbin said. “It will bring together innovative research with product development, with the goal of making our factories smarter, faster and more efficient. Most importantly, this Institute will encourage manufacturing investment and production in the United States, which in turn will spur economic growth and create jobs in Illinois and the Midwest.”