Detroit lands headquarters for $148 million high-tech advanced manufacturing research institute

“Detroit needs to get used to winning again,” Mayor Mike Duggan declared Wednesday.
Duggan made the statement after announcing the headquarters of a federally funded $148 million lightweight metals manufacturing research and technology institute will open in the city.
The Obama administration awarded Michigan one of four hubs in an initiative to jump start manufacturing. Duggan was able to lure the American Lightweight Metals Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII) after a lease deal in Canton Township fell through.

The Institute will not be a big jobs producer initially. It is expected to open in the fall with a staff of 10. Duggan says the real payoff for Detroit will come when the new metals and technologies are put to use by military and commercial manufacturing sectors.

“Detroit has been an icon in the manufacturing industry in the last century,” Duggan said. Now, as new advanced manufacturing techniques are developed, we want to make sure that Detroit is at the forefront again.”

The Institute will move into a 90,000-square foot facility on Rosa Parks Boulevard in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood.  The building has stood vacant since 2001 when Mexican Industries went bankrupt.

The institute will be getting a new neighbor. Across the street, construction is continuing on the Quicken Loans Technology Center. The 66,000-square foot data center and office complex is scheduled for completion in January, 2015.

Landing the Lightweight Metals Institute is a huge, positive development for Corktown, according to Phil Cooley, an entrepreneur, investor and booster of the neighborhood.

“We had heard the rumors of the project and to see it come to fruition and to be real, it’s going to be such a huge addition to our neighborhood,” Cooley told 7 Action News.

ALMMII is a public-private partnership led by Ohio-based manufacturing technology nonprofit EWI, the University of Michigan and The Ohio State University. The initiative is part of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) and is being led by the Department of Defense.


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