Illinois Institute of Technology is one of 23 universities in 13 states that will be participants in the new $320 million UI Labs Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDI) based in Chicago on Goose Island.
As reported in news media outlets last weekend, this Institute came about partly because of a $70 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). This initial grant from the DOD will be backed by financial commitments of $250 million from a number of partners including university, state and corporate funding. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Michael Sacks of World Business Chicago all played key roles in organizing this multi-state response.
This is exciting news for Illinois Tech since the University will have a lead role in the Institute which will be poised to jumpstart digital manufacturing and create cutting-edge technologies helping to advance Chicago as one of the world’s growing manufacturing and innovation cities.
Dr. Keith Bowman, Department Chair of the Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering Department of the Armour College of Engineering and Duchossois Leadership Professor of Materials Engineering, is IIT’s principal investigator in the DMDI initiative. Along with Dennis Roberson, Vice Provost of Research, Natacha DePaola, Dean of the Armour College, and David Baker, Vice President of External Affairs, IIT faculty, staff and students will be included in shaping the future of manufacturing in Chicago. In addition, the work of the DMDI will bolster the industrial-supported research that is already taking place at IIT that will help create new jobs and further strengthen the future of innovation.
A formal announcement of the grant will take place at the White House on Tuesday, February 25, 2014.