Conexus Indiana to Play Key Role in New Manufacturing Institutes Announced by the White House

Indianapolis, Ind., March 4, 2014 – Conexus Indiana, a partner of Ivy Tech Community College and the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, will play a significant role supporting  two new manufacturing institutes announced by President Barack Obama at the White House last week.  The President announced that the Digital Lab for Manufacturing in Chicago and the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII) in Detroit were each awarded $70 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to improve our nation’s competitiveness in advanced manufacturing. These institutes are part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, an initiative to re-invigorate U.S. manufacturing, spur innovation and create new jobs.

Conexus Indiana partnered with in-state manufacturers and Ivy Tech Community College to support ALMMII, specifically offering to provide workforce development support through Hire Technology, a curriculum developed by Conexus with Ivy Tech and offered to more than 1,000 Indiana high school students to prepare them for careers in advanced manufacturing and logistics. Conexus also will support the Institute through its growing network of over 100 trained educators throughout the state who champion advanced manufacturing and logistics careers to youth.

Conexus Indiana also plans to partner with the Digital Lab for Manufacturing and major industry members like Rolls-Royce to raise awareness of digital manufacturing opportunities for Indiana manufacturers, improve the local supply chain by helping Indiana manufacturers adopt new digital manufacturing capabilities, and help up-skill Indiana's workforce to take advantage of careers utilizing digital manufacturing technologies.

“It is significant to have the presidential spotlight focused on the advancement of lightweight materials manufacturing and digital manufacturing, two industry sectors that have a large Indiana presence,” said Steven Dwyer, president and CEO of Conexus Indiana. “As the statewide industry-led organization that has been supporting Indiana’s advanced manufacturing and logistics sectors for seven years, we are honored to be part of these historic projects.

“We know, for example, that digital manufacturing will make military acquisition faster and cheaper. To the extent that Conexus Indiana can help educate in-state aerospace and defense companies about these institutes, and help them improve their digital manufacturing capabilities in particular, we see great potential for our state to attract more defense business,” Dwyer concluded.

ALMMII is a public-private partnership that includes partners from Indiana and surrounding states to develop and deploy advanced lightweight materials manufacturing technologies and implement education and training programs to prepare the workforce.

The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute is an applied research institute that will develop and demonstrate digital manufacturing technologies and deploy and commercialize these technologies across key manufacturing industries. Leading industry partners include Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis, and other partners that are regionally anchored in the Midwest, including Indiana.

Through High Technology, Conexus Indiana plans to leverage its High School Champions and its high-school curriculum to up-skill the state’s lightweight materials manufacturing workforce to grow the capabilities of local manufacturers.

“Ivy Tech Community College and Conexus Indiana have seen significant success with the Hire Technology program over the past two years,” said Thomas Snyder, president of Ivy Tech Community College. “As workforce partners with the ALMMII, we are eager to see these programs be used as tools to up-skill the state’s lightweight materials manufacturing workforce.”

Through its work with the Digital Lab for Manufacturing, Conexus Indiana, through the Indiana Aerospace and Defense Council, aims to help the state attract more defense business by getting aerospace and defense companies to adopt new digital manufacturing capabilities.

“The ‘Digital Lab’ is unique from other institutes with its focus on developing the integrated digital capability of processes, tools and large computing infrastructure underpinned with training a new workforce of the future,” said Susan Murray, director, Engineering Improvement Center at Rolls-Royce. “We will be applying this to the entire lifecycle of our products to ensure we are being competitive and providing innovation to our customers.”

The public-private institutes are being launched as part of a federal initiative to help U.S. manufacturers become more competitive and encourage investment in the United States. ALMMII, which will open its doors in spring 2014, will aim to remove technological barriers to expand the market for and create new customers of products and systems that utilize new, lightweight, high performing metals and alloys. The Digital Lab for Manufacturing aims to create thousands of jobs in advanced manufacturing fields to make the U.S. economy more competitive, generating billions of dollars in value to the Department of Defense and U.S. industrial base.

 

About Conexus Indiana:

Conexus Indiana is the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, dedicated to making Indiana a global leader. Conexus is focused on strategic priorities like workforce development, creating new industry partnerships and promoting Indiana’s advantages in manufacturing and logistics. Hire Technology is possible through funding by organizations such as Lilly Endowment Inc., Chase and Ivy Tech Community College, as well as through significant contributions from industry partners. Learn more at www.ConexusIndiana.com.