Thursday, 02 27, 2014
Joe Hall 502-564-4886
Kentucky investing $3.7 million to support research
initiative and create jobs
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2014) – On behalf of Governor Steve Beshear,
Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson joined University of Kentucky President Eli
Capilouto and University of Louisville President James Ramsey to announce $3.7
million in state funding and in-kind contributions to support a comprehensive
federal initiative focused on enhancing advanced manufacturing nationwide and
bringing more highly skilled jobs to the Commonwealth.
Earlier this week, President Barack Obama announced the grants in support of
the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation, a White House plan to help
U.S. manufacturers employ leading-edge technology to become more competitive.
The initiatives involve universities, private companies and governments
throughout the country, including the Commonwealth and Kentucky’s two research
“As a prominent partner in both of these initiatives, Kentucky will play a
key role in developing and disseminating cutting-edge manufacturing
technologies to the advanced manufacturing sector,” said Lt. Governor Abramson.
“Private companies from around the country will work with UofL and UK on
groundbreaking research. These grant awards are vital to the nation’s long-term
economic success, and the Commonwealth is honored to be a part of these
To support these innovative research projects, the Cabinet for Economic
Development and other state partners are investing a total of $3.7 million over
the next several years.
Manufacturing remains a critical economic engine in the
Commonwealth. Manufacturing is Kentucky’s
third-largest employment sector – nearly one
out of every eight non-agricultural jobs in Kentucky is in manufacturing.
In 2012 alone, 232 manufacturing facilities
announced new locations or expansions in Kentucky.
In addition, Kentucky’s
manufacturing employment has grown 9 percent since 2010, providing more than 228,000
More than 4,100 manufacturing
facilities now call Kentucky home, and they produce everything from automobiles
and aerospace parts to food, beverage, and paper products – with a total output
of nearly $30 billion.
“We have a keen interest in not only maintaining our manufacturing prowess
in Kentucky, but also growing manufacturing through advanced technology
applications,” said Gov. Beshear. “These grants and the work they will
support at our two research institutions will give Kentuckians a huge head
start on developing the techniques that will drive the future manufacturing
UK and UofL are both involved in the federal project, but will work with
different groups of schools and manufacturers.
UofL to Focus on Digital Manufacturing and Design
UofL is one of the prime
players in a consortium of Midwestern universities and companies selected to
participate in the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation (DMDI)
The DMDI Institute will
be headquartered in Chicago with a network of manufacturing and research sites
across the U.S. – including one at UofL. The institute’s goal will be to
increase the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector of America’s economy
by developing software, data management tools and innovative, networked
production processes that reduce costs and improve efficiencies for both large
companies and small to medium-sized manufacturers.
Funding for DMDI
includes a $70 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense. That grant
will be leveraged by investments and support commitments of $250 million from
industry, academia, government and community partners.
The Kentucky Cabinet for
Economic Development will contribute more than $1.2 million to the project over
the next five years that will be used to ensure that small to medium-sized
Kentucky companies have an opportunity to apply these new technologies to their
manufacturing processes and develop technologies specific to their needs.
The state has also already funded $12.4 million in
infrastructure for a new research park behind the Speed School.
“The University of
Louisville is focused on providing the skills and technology to boost economic
opportunities for Kentuckians,” said Ramsey. “This federal award will help us
build on our competitive advantage in manufacturing, provide more jobs for
Kentuckians and establish UofL as a leader in advanced manufacturing, design
UK to Focus on Lightweight Materials Manufacturing
UK was selected to participate in the American Lightweight
Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII), which will receive $70
million in Department of Defense funding, with $78 million in matching support
from a public-private consortium.
ALMMII is charged with developing and deploying advanced
lightweight materials manufacturing technologies, and implementing education
and training programs to prepare the workforce. The Kentucky Department of
Workforce Investment, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, and
the Cabinet for Economic Development will contribute a total of $2.5 million to
support the Institute.
UK is one of nine universities that have joined with 34
private companies and 17 other organizations in the public-private consortium,
which was initiated by the Ohio-based tech nonprofit group EWI along with the
University of Michigan and The Ohio State University.
“UK’s partnership in this institute engages our human
capital and intellectual curiosity in collaborative and creative scholarship,”
Capilouto said. “Our role will support research and development in ways that
are significant to education we provide, industries we support in our state and
the economic competitiveness of our nation.”
For more on DMDI, visit www.manufacturing.gov/docs/DMDI_overview.pdf.
For more on ALMII, visit http://www.manufacturing.gov/docs/LM3I_overview.pdf.
Information on Kentucky’s economic
development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can
also join the discussion on Facebook
or follow on Twitter. Watch
the Cabinet’s “This is My Kentucky” video on YouTube.