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Obama Commiting $140 Million for Defense Innovation Hub

Caterpillar Inc. Heavy Machinery
The 41 companies that will be part of the consortium include Boeing Co. and Caterpillar Inc. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

President Barack Obama plans to commit $140 million for two manufacturing innovation initiatives led by the Defense Department in the Midwest, the White House said in a statement.

An institute to be located in the Detroit area will focus on “lightweight and modern metals manufacturing,” the administration said in yesterday’s statement. Aluminum, titanium and high-strength steel manufacturers will work with universities and labs on research and development.

A digital manufacturing institute in Chicago will be the host for manufacturing and software companies to develop interoperable software and hardware for supply chains and to reduce manufacturing costs.

The 41 companies that will be part of the consortium include Boeing Co. and Caterpillar Inc.

Obama will announce the plans on Feb. 25 at a White House event. The president’s budget, which will be released early next month, will include funding for manufacturing hubs, one of Obama’s priorities, Josh Earnest, deputy White House press secretary, told reporters last week.

The $140 million will be matched with money from what the White House said would be non-federal sources. The statement didn’t specify where that funding would come from.

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