Digital lab grant awarded to Illinois

February 23, 2014

AP

Illinois' senior U.S. senator is lauding as revolutionary a White House initiative under which he says Chicago and Detroit will boost innovation in manufacturing and create jobs.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin joined Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Sunday to publicly discuss the creation of two manufacturing institutes. The Detroit-area institute will focus on lightweight metals, while the Chicago hub will push innovation in digital manufacturing and design.

President Barack Obama is to announce the initiative Tuesday.

The institutes are being seeded by $70 million each from the Department of Defense, plus more than $70 million each from non-government sources.

Durbin said the Department of Defense awarded the grant to UI Labs, a partnership between public and private groups, including universities and manufacturers.