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2/28/2014
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Chicago, Detroit To Host Manufacturing Tech Hubs

Obama announces Defense Department-led initiative that aims to boost manufacturing, add jobs.

President Obama has unveiled plans for boosting America's future via projects in Chicago and Detroit.

The projects, named "manufacturing innovation institutes," are public-private partnerships that are led by the Defense Department and are meant to boost America's manufacturing sector while adding jobs in the two cities.

In a White House speech Tuesday afternoon attended by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Canton Township Supervisor Phil LaJoy (from a suburb of Detroit), the president outlined his plan to combine the forces of business and research to forge innovations in the two hubs. "We're connecting leading businesses and research universities," he said. "If we want to attract more manufacturing jobs to America, we want to make sure we're on the cutting edge of new manufacturing techniques."

The two institutes, which were preceded by two in Youngstown, Ohio, and Raleigh, N.C., will become regional hubs for R&D on products in specific categories. In Detroit, the focus will be on lightweight metals; in Chicago, it will be on digital manufacturing and design. As innovations are made, jobs will be added as member companies train workers to implement them. As a result, businesses will be attracted to the institutes for their cutting-edge manufacturing techniques. Everybody wins.

Well, sort of. The president made it clear that, though the two new institutes will be funded with $140 million of federal money and at least that much private-sector funding, that's a pittance compared to what he'd like to spend and achieve.

Read the rest of this article on Future Cities.

Mary Jander is managing editor of UBM's Future Cities. Previously, she was executive editor of Internet Evolution, site editor of Byte and Switch, and a longtime senior editor of Light Reading. She has spent over 27 years reporting and writing on information technology and ... View Full Bio

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Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
3/3/2014 | 4:21:03 AM
Re: Oh, dear.
Just so long as, if RoboCop gets remade, the federal government isn't producing.  :p
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
3/2/2014 | 8:40:08 PM
Re: Oh, dear.
It seems that the federal government is trying to take some concrete actions to boost the economy of Detroit and Chicago. This sounds a good plan but we need to think about whether it's a sustainable development model - there is a risk that these two cities may run into the auto industry critical situation again. Well...for Detroit I think it would go well - th headquarter of OCP is located there and they can produce Robocop.:-)
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2014 | 11:01:49 PM
Oh, dear.
...Because government partnership with private industry has worked out SO WELL for Detroit's auto industry.  ◔_◔
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