U of I Prof: New Chicago Digital Lab Means “Wealth Of Innovation”
The University of Illinois professor who's helping lead a new digital manufacturing lab planned for Chicago says the facility will mean 50 to 70 jobs for the city, but a wealth of potential innovation for companies involved.
Engineering professor William King will be the chief technical officer of the new Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, operated by the UI Labs Initiative, a public-private partnership connected to the university.
Big companies such as Caterpillar Inc. and Deere & Co. are part of it along with dozens of smaller firms.
King says the lab should become a link between research that often stays at universities and manufacturers large and small that can use it
Another institute in Detroit will focus on lightweight materials. The institutes will get $70 million each in federal funding and millions more from outside sources.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said the lab will help make Chicago an epicenter of digital manufacturing.
President Barack Obama will annouce the funding for both facilities Tuesday afternoon in Washington.