$148 million US metals research institute to open in Detroit; expected to spur economic growth

IndustrialsAssociated Press

A fall opening of the Detroit headquarters for a federally funded metals research program was announced Wednesday.

The $148 million American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII) is expected to help move cutting-edge metals from research into vehicles, planes and ships used commercially and by the U.S. military.

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President Barack Obama had announced in February the creation of the hub and one in Chicago that would concentrate on high-tech digital manufacturing and design. The eventual goal of the Pentagon-led institutes is creating jobs that have been lost to foreign competition.

Two dozen people will work at the facility in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood. City residents will receive training from the nonprofit Focus: HOPE and other institute partners for the high-tech manufacturing jobs expected to be created when the lightweight metals go into production.

The public-private partnership includes companies, the University of Michigan, Ohio State University and research institutions. The institute will contribute to economic development in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky over the next five years, according to officials.

Most of the jobs will be in the metal stamping, metalworking, machining and casting industries.

"Detroit's renewed energy and revitalization efforts mesh perfectly with the goals of ALMMII, making the city an ideal spot for its headquarters," said University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel. "I look forward to seeing the innovations that will come out of the institute that will transform American manufacturing."