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Governor Quinn Joins UI LABS to Break Ground on New Digital Manufacturing Hub

Press Release - Thursday, October 30, 2014

CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and leadership from UI LABS to break ground on UI LABS' future headquarters and the new Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII). The event is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois' economy forward.

"I've made this facility a major priority for Illinois by personally making our case to both the White House and Secretary of Defense, as well as securing key private sector partners because I know how important this institution will be to revitalizing our manufacturing industry," Governor Quinn said. "The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute will help keep Illinois' economic comeback going. I'm pleased to break ground on this facility that will solidify Illinois' position as a high-tech manufacturing hub, support our growing technology and innovation sectors and create jobs across the state."

The Governor personally petitioned the Secretary of Defense twice and made the case to key White House officials about the benefits and importance of DMDII. The Governor also worked to bring key private sector partners into the initiative, including CAT, Deere & Company, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and many more.

"Our U.S. industrial base is the engine that drives our economy and equips our soldiers, sailors and airmen. It is critically important that we maintain our technological advantage within a strong, adaptive and resilient U.S. industrial base," Andre Gudger, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy, Department of Defense said. "The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, along with the other pilot Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation, will provide this competitive edge to not only the Department of Defense, but to other federal agencies, industry, and the nation as a whole."

"DMDII will enable Illinois to lead the nation in a 21st century manufacturing renaissance, which is precisely why I worked hard over the past two years to help bring the Institute to our state," Senator Durbin (D-IL) said. "World-class partners from around the state and across the country—including General Electric, John Deere, Caterpillar and Boeing—will work to improve manufacturing efficiency to create new opportunities for businesses and workers. DMDII will make our small and midsize manufacturers more competitive globally by allowing them to integrate computing capabilities throughout design, testing and production. But most importantly, the Institute will be a great source of innovation, development and economic growth in our state and position us as a leader in the field for years to come."

"Manufacturing has been an important part of Chicago's past and we are making sure that the next generation of advanced digital manufacturing will play an even greater role in our future. This is an important milestone in a long effort and a larger strategy to put the City of Chicago front and center of the digital manufacturing revolution," Mayor Emanuel said. "The research that comes out of the Digital Lab will underpin the products, the patents, and the production of so many new technologies, create new companies and help us attract existing companies to Chicago, and most importantly, create and sustain a new generation of good-paying jobs right here in the City of Chicago."

Located on Goose Island, DMDII is set to revitalize America's manufacturing industries by enabling U.S. manufacturers to harness data to make their products better, faster and more cost-competitive. Leveraging a co-investment of $70 million from the U.S. Department of Defense and matching investment from industry, university and state and local government partners, the Institute will help U.S. manufacturers increase productivity through a more effective use of data across every stage of the manufacturing process.

"We are building the factory of the future - where business and academia will convene to tackle important manufacturing challenges," Caralynn Nowinski, Executive Director of UI LABS said. "At the same time, this facility will be the place where American workers - and the next generation of workers - will have an opportunity to see, learn and participate in the transformation of U.S. manufacturing."

Early support from the Quinn Administration was essential to the launch of DMDII. In March 2013, Governor Quinn approved the investment of $60 million in Blue Waters at the University of Illinois, which provides the supercomputing power for this initiative, and set Illinois' application apart from other contenders for the DMDII. The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute will reduce development and deployment costs for U.S. manufacturers while creating billions of dollars in value for the industrial marketplace—spurring long-term economic growth and job creation. The facility is scheduled to open late in the first quarter of 2015.

"Advances in digital manufacturing are already improving companies' performance all across America," Dean Bartles, Executive Director of DMDII said. "DMDII is going to take these advances to the next level by bringing technical expertise and connecting the dots across America's supply chain."

DMDII demonstrates Chicago's increasing prominence as a national leader in advanced manufacturing. DMDII is a public-private consortium that brings together over 40 leading manufacturing and technology companies with more than 30 university, government and community partners, including: Boeing, Caterpillar, Dow Chemical, General Electric, Illinois Tool Works, John Deere, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Northwestern University, PARC, Purdue University, Procter & Gamble, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rolls Royce, Siemens, University of Chicago, University of Illinois and University of Texas-Austin.

Prior to the official groundbreaking ceremony, guests took a tour of the 94,000-square-foot facility. Dignitaries viewed renderings of the soon to be completed space by architecture firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM). The building is located at 1333 Hickory Ave. on Goose Island, an industrial zone in the heart of the city that is rapidly becoming an "Innovation Island."

SOM's design for the DMDII space plays on the idea of transparency by adding glass storefronts and window bays to the existing building's exterior. Glass walls, exposed plumbing and mechanical systems reinforce the theme and foster an open, collaborative environment. The completed building will include a manufacturing floor for demonstrations, classrooms, a lecture hall and collaborative meeting rooms.

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