UI LABS

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UI LABS and mHUB are excited to announce that the 2nd annual Fourth Revolution Awards ceremony will take place on October 10, 2018 at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The ceremony will culminate in the celebration of seven deserving leaders, companies and industrial initiatives that have made significant contributions to the region’s manufacturing ecosystem in the past year. Nominations for the awards are being accepted now until July 31, 2018.

The Fourth Revolution Awards celebrates regional manufacturing for its leadership and innovation as the industry embarks on a new technological revolution. Named for the Fourth Industrial Revolution which fuses physical product development with digital processes to impact all disciplines, economies and industries, the award ceremony will showcase emerging technologies in areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT), advanced analytics, autonomous vehicles, robotics, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and more.

Awards will be presented for long-time manufacturing leadership, innovation and new talent in manufacturing, significant investment in emerging manufacturing sectors and promoting diversity and inclusion in the industry.

The awards are:

  • Corporate Champion: Recognizes a corporation or business that has made an impact on manufacturing through community focused efforts and significant financial investment throughout the region.
  • Community Empowerment Award: Recognizes a program or an initiative that promotes diversity and inclusion in manufacturing.
  • Innovation of the Year: Recognizes a technology or process that can advance multiple technologies and significantly improve the manufacturing ecosystem.
  • Manufacturer of the Year: Recognizes an individual or manufacturing company that has demonstrated its excellence in business practices, innovative processes, and productivity enhancements and has made a significant financial investment to manufacturing capacity in the region.
  • Product Design of the Year: Recognizes a product design that is unique, improves user experience, and impacts productivity as well as the greater good.
  • Rising Star of the Year: Recognizes a pre-series B round individual startup company for its innovation, creativity and position as the next great company to emerge in the region.
  • Small and Mid-Sized Manufacturer of the Year: Recognizes a small or mid-sized manufacturer that has demonstrated its excellence in business practices, innovative processes and productivity enhancements as well as contributions to its local community.


“The inaugural Fourth Revolution Awards ceremony last year brought together over 300 industry leaders from across the region to celebrate with one another and recognize the incredible innovation that’s coming out of our ecosystem,” said Haven Allen, mHUB Chief Executive Officer. “It was exciting to see entrepreneurs and corporate leaders celebrating the advancements and future potential of our industry.”

“These awards will recognize programs, companies and individuals from a cross section of the manufacturing ecosystem,” said UI LABS Chief Executive Officer, Caralynn Nowinski Collens. “Small manufacturers and startups are essential to the transformation of U.S. manufacturing, and we are excited to celebrate their game-changing achievements alongside corporate and community leaders.”

UI LABS and ManpowerGroup released a workforce analysis that identifies 165 data-centric jobs that will define the future of manufacturing in the United States.

Descriptions for jobs such as collaborative robotics specialist, manufacturing cybersecurity strategist and enterprise digital ethicist give a window into the advanced skills and knowledge needed to put new technology into practice and remain globally competitive.

The Digital Workforce Succession in Manufacturing report is the first to offer such a comprehensive workforce playbook to help companies develop a talent pipeline for existing and future factories. The research includes in-depth profiles for 20 roles that span a range of “digital” technologies and business practices, such as virtual reality/augmented reality systems specialist.

The report also describes the type and level of educational degree associated with each position, ranging from an AAS in Robotics Technology to a Ph.D. in Mathematics or Engineering.

“The new roles we have identified will help prepare American workers for the technological shift that is underway, providing attractive, well-paying jobs for the next generation of manufacturers,” said Caralynn Nowinski Collens, CEO of UI LABS. “A smart factory is going to be very dependent on this new workforce.”

“Digitization is transforming the job market, creating a need for people with more advanced skills in manufacturing, and our work with UI LABS is evidence of this,” said Jonas Prising, Chairman and CEO of ManpowerGroup. “By mapping the digital roles and skills of the future, our research will help companies and schools upskill today’s manufacturing workforce for the connected, smart machine and augmented-technology jobs of an increasingly digital enterprise. This will help bridge the skills gap and highlights the advanced and attractive jobs emerging on the forefront of the manufacturing sector."

UI LABS’ Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute and ManpowerGroup’s Right Management and Experis brands conducted the research, which was supported by more than 30 industry, academic and government partners. DMDII financed the research using funds from the U.S. Department of Defense, with ManpowerGroup’s experts leading the detailed skills analysis.

The project is part of DMDII’s mission to promote the adoption of new technology across U.S. manufacturing. It also aligns with ManpowerGroup’s broader MyPath™ strategy aimed at closing the skills gap by identifying the roles of the future, building the talent and skills that clients need, and providing people with the guidance and access to jobs that enhance their employability for the long-term.

“The workforce analysis conducted by DMDII and ManpowerGroup offers insight into exciting new roles and skills needed to advance American manufacturing,” said Gail Norris, Director of Customer Technical Learning Services at Siemens. “The report envisions a future in which digital technologies like artificial intelligence and augmented reality are commonplace in factories across the United States.”

mHUB, IMEC and UI LABS have announced the inaugural industry awards ceremony that will take place on October 18, 2017 at the Wintrust Grand Banking Hall in Chicago to recognize talent and achievements in manufacturing.

The Fourth Revolution Awards celebrates regional manufacturing for its leadership and innovation as the industry stands on the brink of a new technological revolution. The ceremony culminates in the presentation of eight awards to deserving leaders, companies and industrial initiatives that have made significant contributions to the Chicago region’s manufacturing ecosystem.

“The Fourth Revolution Awards will prove to be our most robust celebration of regional manufacturing to date. We look forward to celebrating the success and inspiration from leaders across the region and carrying the beacon forward for the future together,” said mHUB Executive Director and Co-founder, Haven Allen.

Named for the Fourth Industrial Revolution which fuses physical product development with digital processes to impact all disciplines, economies and industries, the award ceremony will showcase emerging technological breakthroughs in fields such as the Internet of Things, advanced analytics, autonomous vehicles, robotics, 3D printing and artificial intelligence.

“These awards will recognize programs, companies and individuals from a cross section of the manufacturing ecosystem," said UI LABS Chief Executive Officer, Caralynn Nowinski Collens. "Small manufacturers and startups are essential to the transformation of the U.S. manufacturing supply chain, and we are excited to celebrate their game-changing achievements alongside corporate and community leaders."

Awards will be presented for long-time manufacturing leadership, innovation and new talent in manufacturing, significant investment in emerging manufacturing sectors and promoting diversity and inclusion in the industry.

The awards are:

  • Community Empowerment Award: Recognizes a program or an initiative that promotes diversity and inclusion in manufacturing.
  • Product Design of the Year: Recognizes a product design that is unique, improves user experience, and impacts productivity as well as the greater good.
  • Innovation of the Year: Recognizes a technology or process that can advance multiple technologies and significantly improve the manufacturing ecosystem.
  • Startup of the Year: Recognizes an individual startup company for its innovation, creativity and significant accomplishments in the region.
  • Rising Star of the Year: Recognizes a pre-series B round individual startup company before its fourth year in operation, for its innovation, creativity and position as the next great company to emerge in the region.
  • Small and Mid-Sized Manufacturer of the Year: Recognizes a small or mid-sized manufacturer that has demonstrated its excellence in business practices, innovative processes and productivity enhancements as well as contributions to its local community.
  • Manufacturer of the Year: Recognizes an individual or manufacturing company that has demonstrated its excellence in business practices, innovative processes, and productivity enhancements and has made a significant financial investment to manufacturing capacity in the region.
  • Corporate Champion: Recognizes a corporation or business that has made an impact on manufacturing through community focused efforts and significant financial investment throughout the region.


“This presentation of awards to the industrial community in the Chicago region demonstrates a strong representation of the forward-thinking leaders and trendsetters in manufacturing,” said David Boulay, IMEC President. “To be able to recognize the individuals and organizations that challenge the status quo and generate awareness of new innovations and the importance of manufacturing to a broader audience is truly exciting to witness. No doubt these innovators should be acknowledged for their great contributions.”

Enrollment has opened for the first three online courses of a 10-course “101” series focused on harnessing data to make American factories more efficient and competitive.

Developed in partnership with the University at Buffalo (UB) under coordination of The Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE) for the Coursera platform, Digital Manufacturing and Design Technology launches on January 30th. The massive open online course (MOOC) curriculum includes 40 hours of instruction, assessments, peer interactions and a final project.

Developed for both students and workers, the series will introduce a broad range of digital manufacturing and design technologies, and demonstrate how they can be used throughout a product’s lifecycle. 

TCIE designed the curriculum alongside industry partners, including Siemens PLM, SME, the Association for Manufacturing Technology, Moog Inc. and Buffalo Manufacturing Works. Its development was funded with a $380,000 award from the Chicago-based Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, a UI LABS collaboration.

“Workforce development is critical to maintaining American manufacturing competitiveness,” said Caralynn Nowinski Collens, CEO of UI LABS. “It is also important that the collaborative knowledge DMDII gains through university, industry, startup and government collaboration reach as many people as possible.”

The course modules will introduce digital manufacturing and design technologies, which use data to connect and improve each stage of the manufacturing process. For example, one module will explain how to upgrade legacy machines so they capture information about their production and performance. Another module on cyber-physical security will cover how to ensure these internet-connected devices are protected from hacking.

After completing the series, known as a “specialization,” participants will earn a certificate in digital manufacturing and design.

“For decades universities and factories were worlds apart, but the speed of innovation is drawing them closer and closer,” said Liesl Folks, Dean of the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “Creating a first-of-its-kind, impactful curriculum on digital manufacturing is an important step in strengthening and retraining our manufacturing employment base.”

The courses will be offered on Coursera, the world’s largest platform for MOOCs. Individual course content, including videos and readings, can be accessed at no cost; the fee to enroll in the series, with access to all assignments and the opportunity to earn a specialization completion certificate, is $49 per month.

Thursday, 21 July 2016 12:03

DMDII and ManpowerGroup Announce Partnership

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A new partnership to define and map the roles and skills required by organizations on the forefront of advanced digital manufacturing was announced between ManpowerGroup and Chicago-based Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), a UI LABS Collaboration. The work is part of a broader national initiative overseen by the Department of Defense and other federal agencies to fuel the development of next generation production capabilities and bring jobs back to the United States.

The partnership pairs top U.S. manufacturing firms, research universities and technical colleges that are part of DMDII with ManpowerGroup, the world’s leading innovative workforce solutions provider. By identifying the skills needed for 20 roles on the leading-edge of manufacturing and design, the effort will help align workers, employers and educators to ensure the U.S. workforce is prepared to drive the growth of advanced manufacturing.

“With the rapid pace of technological change it is harder for individuals to keep their skills up to date or for educators to predict what hiring managers will look for three years from now — particularly in industries like manufacturing, where new robotics and data systems are increasingly important,” said Sean Costello, Senior Vice President for Experis, North America, ManpowerGroup's professional resourcing and project-based solutions brand. “Our work will create a common language to describe these emerging roles, which will help drive this $3 trillion sector of the economy forward.”

The first phase of the project began in March 2016 and runs through Q1 of 2017. Drawing on expertise from DMDII members — such as Lockheed Martin, Siemens and GE — together with government experts and certification agencies, Phase I will identify the roles required for digital manufacturing and then create a framework to better understand and describe them. Phase II, which will run through 2017, will focus on solutions like understanding the gap between projected industry demand and the potential supply of digital design and manufacturing talent, and identifying ways to close that gap.

“Understanding, defining and addressing the skills needs of tomorrow is a challenge,” said Caralynn Nowinski Collens, Chief Executive Officer of UI LABS. “By bringing together our digital manufacturing and design expertise and ManpowerGroup’s unrivaled workforce insight, we are well-equipped to define the horizon of digital manufacturing, revitalizing and strengthening the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing.”

By defining emerging roles and skills in the digital manufacturing and design space, industry and academia will be able to better align for training and hiring. “This work has implications beyond any one company or organization,” said Sascha Fischer, Business Segment Manager of Siemens. “Education remains imperative and is a driver for companies to remain competitive. Most importantly, we must see a workforce trained for the jobs that are critical to the operation of the digital factory of the future.”  

Job roles are expected to be realized by Q1 of 2017 with a series of strategic engagements from DMDII and partner organizations.

 

Representatives from the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), a UI LABS collaboration, and representatives from the Quad Cities Chamber announced a new chapter in the Quad Cities which will be housed at the Quad Cities Manufacturing Lab.

DMDII is a research and development organization that helps manufacturers implement digital manufacturing and design technologies. DMDII partners with industry, academia, and government to support research projects in digital manufacturing and design, share best practices across the nation, and train future workforce on new manufacturing technologies. As a result of this new chapter, Quad Cities companies will be able to access research and resources from the National Manufacturing Innovation Institute, which brings the potential to make organizations more efficient and cost-competitive.

“The new chapter is a big win for the Quad Cities community and for manufacturers across the country,” said Dean Bartles, Chief Manufacturing Officer for UI LABS and Executive Director of DMDII. “As we work to revolutionize American manufacturing, DMDII is expanding our physical reach beyond Chicago and bringing the power of our national institute to other regional areas.”

“The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce was integral in the co-creation and development of this DMDII chapter,” said Caralynn Nowinski Collens, Chief Executive Officer of UI LABS. “We will rely on this relationship to take the digital technologies developed from DMDII projects into the workplaces of small- and medium-sized manufacturers across this community. This chapter model will be the basis of the many chapters that will open from coast to coast.”

The launch expands DMDII’s existing relationships and partnerships within these two important Illinois hubs, including with members such as the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, John Deere, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, Western Illinois University, and the Quad City Manufacturing Lab.  By connecting with the Quad Cities area small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), DMDII will rely on its national expertise and local execution to help digitize the supply chain of American manufacturing and develop the workforce of the future.

“DMDII’s network and the resources it is assembling to improve America’s manufacturing industry are continuing to expand, starting right here in Illinois,” said Governor Bruce Rauner. “DMDII’s first multi-state chapter in the Quad Cities will increase the competitiveness of companies within our state and cement Illinois’ leadership status as the place to go for manufacturing innovation.”

Along with a new pilot chapter just announced in Rockford, Illinois, the Quad Cities chapter will set the stage for future expansion across the United States. This effort is also an outgrowth of the strategy for the Illinois Manufacturing Lab, a partnership between the University of Illinois and UI LABS, to deliver advanced manufacturing solutions to Illinois companies while providing a collaborative platform for launching economic revitalization strategies across the state.

The new chapter will use existing local resources to connect SMEs, particularly in the Quad Cities’ defense manufacturing supply chain, in technology transition, and workforce development to help digitize American manufacturing. SMEs will also have access to the resources and output of the Illinois Manufacturing Lab.

“Manufacturing is a critical component of our state and national economy,” said Senator Dick Durbin. “By connecting regional and local talent with DMDII’s national network, we will continue to strengthen our local workforce while leading the nationwide manufacturing revolution. With a strong manufacturing workforce at the Rock Island Arsenal, the Quad Cities region is a perfect fit for DMDII’s new chapter. The Department of Defense has an enormous stake in ensuring that our country’s manufacturing evolves into a more agile and collaborative industry. The partnership announced today will move us closer to that goal.”

“The formal launch of a Quad Cities DMDII chapter will strengthen the community’s focus on global manufacturing competitiveness for the region,” said Deere & Company’s Bill Ratzburg, Director, Economic & Community Development. “John Deere has been a DMDII industry partner since its launch in early 2014 and we continue to believe that collaboration with local, regional, national and global thought leaders will drive innovative solutions to very complex problems. Digital manufacturing techniques such as additive manufacturing, robotics and the Internet of Things are critical to the success of manufacturers in the region, including those that are suppliers to Deere.”

“Manufacturing has always been the core of our Quad-City community, and, together, we're positioning our manufacturers and our workforce to be leaders in the 21st century global economy," said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “By plugging our local employers into the manufacturing lab's network of larger manufacturers, educational institutions and digital production experts, we'll not only connect industry to these advanced tools, but we'll also help train our great workers for new jobs created by the digital manufacturing revolution."

“Placing our institutes in close proximity to communities rich in manufacturing history such as the Quad Cities and Rockford enables DMDII to accelerate to small and medium companies the benefits of the institute’s activities,” said Adele Ratcliff, Director of Manufacturing Technology of the Department of Defense. “It is potentially a model that can be replicated across the nation.”

The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce has signed a memorandum of understanding with DMDII to be the lead organization for the Quad Cities area business and manufacturing community, and will work with local leadership to recruit new partners and organize the new chapter.

The Quad Cities region is positioned to be a model community in the renaissance of American manufacturing and prepared to be a central node in DMDII’s national network. In 2016, partners will come together through a series of DMDII-led Project Workshops to identify common issues and work to craft partnerships and award contracts to solve them.

For more information, visit: www.uilabs.org / www.dmdii.org / www.qcml.org


Tuesday, 20 October 2015 14:39

DMDII Grants $7 Million in Research Awards

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The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), a UI LABS collaboration established in 2014, announced today that it has issued its first five national contract research awards. The contracts are valued at more than $7 million, include 14 DMDII partners from across the United States, and will fund research aimed at advancing the field of digital manufacturing and design. Over the next three years, DMDII anticipates having a portfolio of sponsored research projects, spread out over dozens of project call topics and hundreds of institute members.

Five prime contractors from five states have received awards. Prime contractors include Green Dynamics Inc. in California, STEP Tools, Inc. in New York, Product Development & Analysis (PDA) LLC in Illinois, the Design Automation Lab of Arizona State University, and Oregon State University. Each prime contractor has assembled a team of subprime contractors, ranging from major U.S. manufacturers, small- and medium-sized businesses, software development firms, and academic institutions. Of the 14 contracted parties, three are large companies, four are small and medium manufacturers, five are universities and two are non-governmental organizations.

The five awards include the first of several contracts in DMDII’s strategic investment plan and technology roadmap. The industry-driven technology roadmap is aligned with the Department of Defense’s strategic manufacturing base goals and aims to create a technology platform across all manufacturing processes, focusing on three key areas of technology research and demonstration: Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise, Intelligent Machining and Advanced Analysis.

“These contract awards represent a huge milestone for DMDII,” said Dr. Dean Bartles, the Chief Manufacturing Officer at UI LABS and Executive Director of DMDII. “After developing an infrastructure that fosters collaboration and innovation, we’re now launching our first research projects that promise to make American manufacturers more competitive and improve their bottom line. Along with our cooperative partners at the Department of Defense, we’re excited to continue the forward momentum, and we’re looking forward to sponsoring new projects and announcing more contracts in the future.”

“These awards highlight that our collaborative innovation model is working,” said Dr. Caralynn Nowinski Collens, CEO of UI LABS. “We see a bright future for industry-led consortia to solve large-scale societal challenges to close the gap between innovation and commercialization.”

The awards will sponsor research projects to develop software, tools and industry-changing solutions aimed at lowering production costs by increasing the speed and efficiency of a variety of manufacturing processes. Four of the five awards are funded by the U.S. Defense Department’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

“The work performed through DMDII’s first contract awards will allow us to mitigate the big issues of interoperability and manual systems that will lead to saving defense and domestic manufacturers significant resources currently lost to time and cost overruns,” said Dr. Greg Harris, DMDII’s Program Manager through the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center.

“We are developing a ‘digital thread’ across all facets of the manufacturing process,” said George Barnych, DMDII’s Director of Research & Development Programs. “The first five awards begin to develop key technologies that will allow us to ‘stitch together’ the digital thread from the front end of design all the way through the production process and supply logistics.” Barnych continued, “This is a major step in bringing together the best and the brightest from the private, public and academic sectors to reshape the landscape of manufacturing in our country.”

DMDII’s first five contract awards are as follows:

Structural Composites – Blade Multidisciplinary Design and Analysis - 14-01-06
Lead Organization: Green Dynamics Inc.
Other Organizations on this Team: MetaMorph Inc.; University of Delaware; Vanderbilt University; PTC, Inc.; MSC Software Corporation; Pennsylvania State University, Applied Research Laboratory

Partners will work together to integrate a suite of analysis tools under a common intuitive user interface specifically focused on wind turbines. Successful implementation of this software approach will reduce barriers to entry for smaller composite material developers and shorten cycle times for current manufacturers—all while providing a comprehensive cost and manufacturing model to prevent overruns.

Mind the Gap - Filling the Gap between CAD and CNC with Engineering Services - 14-02-02
Lead Organization: STEP Tools, Inc.
Other Organizations on this Team: Pennsylvania State University, Applied Research Laboratory; Vanderbilt University

The Mind the Gap project aims to develop and deliver cloud services to optimize and monitor computer numerical controlled (CNC) machining. The new services will operate on 3D digital models, which are easier to share and modify than traditional code-based models.

Automated Assembly Planning: From CAD model to Virtual Assembly Process - 14-02-04
Lead Organization: Oregon State University
Other Organizations on this Team: ESI North America

This project aims to develop a computational tool to automatically transform a CAD (Computer-Aided Design) assembly into a set of assembly instructions with as little initial user commitment as possible. Quick predictions of an assembly plan will provide feedback to both design and industrial engineers so that they can see how their decisions impact assembly time and cost. For manufacturing companies that choose to use the developed toolset, it could result in millions of dollars in savings.

Automatic Tolerancing of Mechanical Assemblies from STEP AP203: Completion of Adaptive Vehicle Make Tasks - 14-02-05
Lead Organization: Design Automation Lab, Arizona State University

This project will investigate algorithms to automate tolerance allocation of mechanical assemblies. This will include 1st order Geometric Dimension & Tolerancing (GD&T), which is based solely on geometric assemblability, as well as partial support of 2nd order tolerancing, which is based on design intent or function of assemblies, including fit types and fasteners. This will result in lower product cost due to better tolerance control, lower scrap rate, and quicker product development time by reducing trial and error in tolerance allocation.

Intelligent Adaptive Machining Fixtures for Castings (IAMFixR) - 14-07-03
Lead Organization: Product Development & Analysis (PDA) LLC
Other Organizations on this Team: American Foundry Society; Design Automation Lab, Arizona State University; Steel Founders’ Society of America

A collaboration between a metal casting contract manufacturer and an academic research lab, the goal of this project is to develop a set of methods and a software enabler, called “IAMFixR,” to reduce the setup time for the machining of large castings and fabrications, and to virtually eliminate scrapping any of these high value parts. The team aims to incorporate the casting industry standard into a 3D model and use digital technology to capture the changing dimensions of features critical to machining operation for every part produced in a production environment.

The five applied research and demonstration projects will take between 12-18 months to complete.

For more information, visit: www.dmdii.org

A multi-partner team led by UI LABS has been selected to receive a $70 million award from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation (DMDI) Institute.

The federal investment for the DMDI Institute will be used to establish the Digital Lab for Manufacturing (Digital Lab), led by UI LABS, a Chicago-based research and commercialization collaborative. Along with the $70 million cooperative agreement, UI LABS has secured an additional $250 million dollars of support from industry, university, government, and community partners to form the $320 million Digital Lab.

“This is a transformative opportunity to shape the future of American Manufacturing,” states Warren Holtsberg, Chairman of UI LABS.  “We salute the vision of the President and the confidence the Department of Defense placed in UI LABS to be that change agent.”

The 18-month effort to develop the vision and plans for the Digital Lab was steered by a dedicated core team of individuals from UI LABS, the Office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Office of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, and World Business Chicago.  The Illinois Science & Technology Coalition, the University of Illinois, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago also made significant contributions as members of the core planning team, in collaboration with a broad set of partners spanning 17 states.  McKinsey & Company supported the team by providing fact-based research and analysis.

“This new Digital Lab has the potential to revolutionize the way the United States approaches manufacturing and a major effort will be centered in Illinois,” states U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). “Partners from across the state including the Quad Cities Manufacturing Laboratory, the Blue Waters Supercomputer at the University of Illinois, Northwestern University, the Illinois Institute of Technology, the University of Chicago, Southern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, and the City Chicago will be at the forefront of innovative, industry-driven research that will make America more competitive on the global stage. Illinois will undoubtedly benefit from the thousands of jobs created through this research.”

"Illinois is at the forefront of a high-tech manufacturing revolution and that means our state will be Ground Zero for creating the high-tech jobs of the future,” Governor Pat Quinn said. "This first-of-its-kind digital hub will make companies more competitive and stronger by providing them with the most cutting edge tools and technologies. It will be the birthplace for innovations that will change the world in which we live, work and play."

“This solidifies Chicago’s place as the epicenter of the digital manufacturing revolution that will create thousands of jobs here and make our city the place where the greatest 21st century innovations are born,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This cutting-edge Digital Lab will ensure that the City of Big Shoulders remains the City of Big Discoveries for years to come.”

“We are grateful for the backing of our many industry and community partners as well as the bipartisan support from federal, state and local officials across the U.S.,” said UI LABS Interim Executive Director Caralynn Nowinski.  “We are especially proud of the recognition and collaboration from our incredible university and industry partners who are helping UI LABS realize its vision to be a platform for public-private partnerships that will enhance our nation’s competitiveness.”

Digital Lab for Manufacturing (Digital Lab)

The Digital Lab will be headquartered in Chicago and connected to a network of manufacturing research sites across the United States.  As a pillar of President Obama’s investment in U.S. Manufacturing, the Digital Lab will be the nation’s flagship research institute in digital manufacturing and design innovation and a world-class, first-of-its-kind manufacturing hub with the capabilities, innovation, and collaboration necessary to transform American manufacturing.

The Digital Lab will apply cutting edge mobile, cloud, and high-performance computing technologies to the manufacturing challenges of the DoD and industry. By utilizing the Digital Manufacturing Commons (DMC), an open-source online software platform, the Digital Lab will create online networks of people, manufacturing machines, and factories. In turn, this will enable real-time collaboration and analysis of big data during the design and manufacturing processes - reducing the time and cost of manufacturing, strengthening the capabilities of the U.S. supply chain, and reducing acquisition costs for DoD.

The world’s most competitive manufacturing companies have come together to invest in the Digital Lab under the leadership of UI LABS.  Key industry investors, including General Electric, Rolls-Royce, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Lockheed Martin, Siemens, Boeing, Deere, Caterpillar, Microsoft, Illinois Tool Works and PARC among many others, have partnered with leading universities, local government, and community organizations to launch this $320 million institute.

Jobs & Economic Impact

The Digital Lab’s applied research will spur the creation of thousands of jobs in advanced manufacturing fields and make the U.S. economy more competitive, generating billions of dollars of value for the DoD and the U.S. industrial base.  Many of these new jobs will require new skills, and the workforce must follow.  The Digital Lab is a vehicle for workforce development, through partnerships with community colleges, local economic development organizations, and national associations, including SME, a leader in manufacturing workforce development, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Manufacturing Institute, and Project Lead the Way.

Digital design tools allow for new product development to be accelerated by up to 50 percent, by expanding business opportunities and improving the supply chain security, putting U.S. companies ahead of international competitors.  Additionally, the DMC, which is the centerpiece of the Digital Lab approach, will expedite the production of parts and services, expanding markets and the base of suppliers, and driving innovation in related goods and services.

Digital Lab Team

The UI LABS-led consortium includes:

  • World-class technology companies as well as both defense and commercial manufacturers, including General Electric, Rolls-Royce, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Lockheed Martin, Siemens, Boeing, Caterpillar, Deere & Company, Illinois Tool Works, Microsoft, PARC, among many others
  • Next-generation technology companies working alongside 10 of the Top 50 best performing U.S. manufacturers.
  • The nation’s premier engineering schools, one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, and nationally-recognized education and workforce partners.
  • 6 of the top 20 engineering schools in the U.S.
  • More than 12% of all engineering / computer science students graduating annually in the U.S.
  • Partners are regionally anchored in the Midwest, spanning Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, and Nebraska.  Additionally, the team includes world-class university partners from beyond the Midwest, including Texas, Colorado, New York, and Oregon, to leverage the best research and technology in the country and deploy solutions on a broad scale.
  • Network of local, regional, and national organizations, community colleges, and MEP partners, providing connections to over 220,000 small and mid-sized companies.

Digital Lab Leadership

The Digital Lab is led by Executive Director Dean Bartles, Ph.D., who has 35 years of successful manufacturing operations, program management, marketing, and R&D at leading U.S. Defense firms.  Dr. Bartles has spent the past 13 years as VP at General Dynamics - Ordinance and Tactical Systems.

The Digital Lab’s technology leader is Chief Technology Officer William King, Ph.D., a globally recognized leader in manufacturing and design innovation. Dr. King is the College of Engineering Bliss Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he leads a research group whose work crosses boundaries between science, technology, and commercialization.  Dr. King has been founder, advisor, or director at a dozen early stage technology companies with a focus on manufacturing, materials, and nanotechnology.  He is the winner of numerous research awards and was named by Technology Review Magazine as a person whose innovations will change the world.

About UI LABS

As a Chicago-based research and commercialization collaborative, UI LABS brings industries, universities and government together to apply real solutions to tomorrow’s most important business, economic, and cultural challenges.  UI LABS actively cultivates and channels talent and resources, fosters unbiased collaboration to bring new ideas to market, and drives economic growth and competitiveness.

Caralynn Nowinski, M.D., serves as the Interim Executive Director for UI LABS. In her capacity as the Associate Vice President for Innovation & Economic Development at the University of Illinois, Dr. Nowinski was one of the founders of UI LABS.  She offers a unique perspective to the University’s and UI LABS’ efforts to foster innovation, encourage collaboration, and stimulate Illinois competitiveness, drawing from her past experiences as an entrepreneur, physician and venture capitalist.

For more information, visit: digitallab.uilabs.org

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