President Obama on Tuesday announced the creation of two new manufacturing hubs in Detroit and Chicago and also launched a new round of competition for another center aimed at boosting America's capacity to produce advanced composites.
Obama has championed the idea of using both public and private funds to create high-tech manufacturing centers across the countr. The first pilot launched in Youngstown, Ohio, and five agencies have committed to spending $200 million on three separate institutes.
In January, the Energy Department helped create a power electronics institute in Raleigh, N.C. And now the Defense Department is taking the lead in establishing a lightweight and modern metals manufacturing hub in Detroit, as well as a Chicago-based digital manufacturing and design technologies institute. The federal government will provide $140 million in funding, according to the White House, while private entities -- including universities, companies and other academic and training institutions -- will give more than $140 million to the effort.
The new competition will award $70 million over five years to advance the nation's ability to manufacture high-quality, fiber-reinforced polymer composites more cheaply and quickly so they can be used for products ranging from fuel-efficient and electric vehicles to wind turbines and hydrogen and natural gas storage tanks.