Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Advanced Composites

As expected, the White House today officially announced creation of the Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Advanced Composites, which will be based in Knoxville and managed by the University of Tennessee. The announcement came in conjunction with President Obama’s visit to East Tennessee, including a speech at Pellissippi State Community College and an anticipated stop at Techmer PM in Clinton.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory was instrumental in putting together the proposal that won the hub competition, and Director Thom Mason talked about his excitement about the Department of Energy program in a mid-December interview.

“Headquartered in Knoxville, the latest public-private partnership aimed at boosting advanced manufacturing will focus on making advanced composites less expensive and less energy-intensive to manufacture, while also making the composites easier to recycle,” today’s announcement stated.

The institute will involve a financial investment of $250 million, with $70 million in federal funds and more than $180 million in non-federal funds, according to a news release distributed by the Department of Energy. Here’s a link to a DOE blog and what Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz had to say.

According to the statement released today, the DOE institute — involving universities, industrial partners and national labs, including ORNL — will tackle some of the difficult challenges in achieving new and improved manufacturing techniques that lower the cost of advanced materials and apply them to products such as super-strong turbine blades and parts for more fuel-efficient vehicles.

“The new hub will also unite these manufacturers with top-flight research universities, such as the University of Tennessee with its pioneering 3D printed carbon fiber research, and the University of Kentucky with the largest U.S. open-access carbon-fiber chemistry laboratory,” the announcement stated.

According to the report, the team headed by UT has established a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Knoxville, with 86 “key partners” and 36 “additional consortia members.”

Here’s a list of 57 companies that will be involved:

A&P Technology, Inc.; Adherent Technologies, Inc.; Altair; Ashland Performance Materials; Assembly Guidance Systems, Inc.; BASF Company; Boeing Company; Celanese International; Continental Structural Plastics; Convergent Manufacturing Technologies; Cytec Engineered Materials; Dassault Systemes Americas Corp.; Dow Chemical Company; DowAksa; DuPont; ESI North America; Evonik Corporation; Faurecia US Holdings; Fives; Ford Motor Company; GE Water & Power; Graco Inc.; GrafTech International; Heil Trailer International; Herty Advanced Materials Development Center; Hills, Inc.; Honda R&D Americas, Inc.; Huntsman Polyurethanes; IN3 Applications; Johns Manville; LayStitch Technologies; LM Wind Power; Local Motors; Lockheed Martin; Materials Innovation Technologies; McWhinney Real Estate Services; Michelman Inc.; Milacron Plastics Technologies Group; Momentive; North Coast Tool & Mold Corp.; Owens Corning; Phoenix Integration; PolyNEW, Inc.; PolyOne Corporation; PPG Industries, Inc.; SABIC Innovative Plastics US; SAERTEX USA, LLC; Strongwell Inc.; Thogus Products Company; Toray Composites (America), Inc.; TPI Composites, Inc.; Vestas Americas; Volkswagen; Wetzel Engineering; Williams, White & Company; Wolf Robotics, LLC; and Xperion.

Here are the 15 universities and labs:

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Colorado School of Mines; Colorado State University; Iowa State University; Michigan State University; Mississippi State University; National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Purdue University; The Ohio State University; University of Colorado-Boulder; University of Dayton Research Institute; University of Kentucky; University of Michigan; and Vanderbilt University.

Other entities include:

Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI); Abaris Training Resources, Inc.; American Chemical Council; National Composites Center; Oak Ridge Carbon Fiber Composites Consortium; Polymer Ohio, Inc.; Southern Research Institute; Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade; Indiana Economic Development Corporation; Michigan Economic and Community Development; Ohio Development Services Agency; State of Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development; State of Tennessee; and University of Tennessee Research Foundation.

And what were identified as “consortia members”:

Alcoa Inc.; 3M Company; BioCycle, LLC; Braskem America; BST Nano Carbon; Chomarat North America; Cincinnati Incorporated; Concordia Fibers; Eaton Corporation; EWI; Fiber-Tech Industries, Inc.; FibrTech; Global Wind Network (GLWN); Harper International; Hexagon Lincoln; Ingersoll Machine Tools; Interlaken Technology; International Fibers, Ltd.; Johnson Controls, Inc; Koppers; Materia, Inc.; Mentis Sciences, Inc; Michigan Molecular Institute; Nexgen Composites; NONA Composites, LLC; Oerlikon Metco; OshKosh Corporation; Plasan Carbon Composites; PlastiComp; Quickstep Composites, LLC; Rocky Mountain Institute; The Magni Group; Techmer ES;  Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.; United Technologies Research Center; and XG Sciences.

This entry was posted in DOE HQ, ORNL, UT on by .

About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.