WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) work to establish a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) gained a new hub today with the announcement of a new Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville. The IACMI will be divided into five regionally focused institutes with Ohio hosting the compressed gas storage institute at the University of Dayton. The project connects a 122-member consortium of public and private entities including The Ohio State University; Polymer Ohio; the National Composite Center; GE; GrafTech International and more. A full list of supporting organizations can be found HERE.

“American manufacturing is growing and will only get stronger as more of these public-private institutes are created throughout the country,” Brown said. “That’s why the creation of a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation is so crucial to our long-term success. To out innovate the rest of the world, we must have a plan in place that drives creativity and emphasizes collaboration between small businesses, industry leaders, and research institutions. I look forward to seeing this project take shape at the University of Dayton.”

“UDRI is proud to have assembled the strong, competitive Ohio team that contributed to the IACMI team winning this award, and we look forward to working with our Ohio partners to develop the technologies that will lead to the creation of Ohio jobs,” John Leland, University of Dayton intern vice president for research and executive director of UDRI said. “We’re grateful for the support of Sen. Brown, who has been a leading advocate for the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation program which made this new initiative possible.

Modeled after the blueprint contained in Brown’s legislation, the IACMI project is a $259 million public-private partnership that is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office. The main institute will be located on the campus of the University of Tennessee and will utilize five regional institutes focused on vehicles; wind turbines; compress gas storage; design, modeling, and simulation; and composite materials and processing technology.  The IACMI is the fifth institute to be awarded federal funding and builds on the work of Youngstown’s “America Makes,” formerly the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII).

In February 2014, Brown announced the creation of the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII) – a project which received similar federal funds to build upon efforts by The Ohio State University and EWI to develop an advanced manufacturing center through a partnership called the Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME). The ALMMII will develop next generation lightweight material used in industries ranging from aerospace to automotive. The project will also help train workers, preparing them for careers in the manufacturing sector. 

Brown is a champion of American manufacturing. In December 2014, Brown’s bipartisan manufacturing jobs legislation that would create the first-ever national network of manufacturing hubs was signed into law by President Obama. The Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act (RAMI) will establish a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) and create thousands of high-paying, high-tech manufacturing jobs while enhancing the United States’ role as the world’s leader in advanced manufacturing.  The legislation was supported by more than 150 companies, universities, and industry organizations. A full list is here.