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Obama to Highlight $1 Billion Proposal to Boost Manufacturing

March 9 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama today will highlight a $1 billion federal grant proposal designed to boost manufacturing innovation, the White House said in a statement.

Obama plans to make the announcement during an appearance at the Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc Crosspointe jet engine disc manufacturing facility in Prince George County, Virginia.

The fiscal 2013 budget proposes a national network of institutes for manufacturing innovation with as many as 15 regional hubs, according to a White House fact sheet.

The institutes would bring industry, universities, community colleges, federal agencies, states and manufacturers under one roof to help close the gap between basic research and product development.

Each of the technology hubs would focus on a specific manufacturing technology geared to the region, such as developing lightweight materials for use in next-generation automobiles, aircraft, ships and trains.

The $1 billion plan requires congressional approval.

Separately, Obama will use $45 million in existing funds to begin a pilot institute, according to the fact sheet. That seed money will come from the departments of Defense, Energy and Commerce and the National Science Foundation and would be used to show how the program would work.

To contact the reporter on this story: Roger Runningen in Washington at rrunningen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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