July 27, 2016 - 2:44 PM EDT
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Purdue dedicates $50 million composite materials research institute

Purdue facility is part of a national $250 million DOE supported manufacturing innovation initiative

West Lafayette, July 27, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

More than 300 people and about 20 Indiana composite materials companies celebrated the opening of the $50 million Indiana Manufacturing Institute, based in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette.

The institute will house the Center for Composites Manufacturing and Simulation where Purdue researchers and graduate students from Purdue College of Engineering and Purdue Polytechnic Institute will conduct research and development on composite materials to increase energy efficiency for the vehicle production, wind, aerospace and other industries. Purdue’s Product Lifecycle Management Center and the Indiana Next Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center, or IN-MaC, also will be located in the institute. The three centers will occupy 30,000 square feet of the 62,000-square-foot institute.

The institute's remaining 32,000 square feet will be used for public or private enterprises interested in collaborating on composite materials research with Purdue University.

"Purdue is a recognized international leader in composite materials research and the opportunity and demand for research partnerships between Purdue and industry is great," said Suresh Garimella, Purdue's executive vice president for research and partnerships and the Goodson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering. "The opening of the Indiana Manufacturing Institute will enable us to increase these research collaborations and advance our composite materials research for even greater impact."

The Center for Composites Manufacturing and Simulation is part of a $250 million U.S. Department of Energy initiative to support President Barack Obama's National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. The DOE project, called the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, or IACMI-The Composites Institute, is a five-year public-private collaboration that includes a federal commitment of $70 million and over $180 million pledged by industry, state economic development agencies and universities. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is the lead institution in the collaboration that includes public and private agencies in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Colorado.

R. Byron Pipes, the John Leighton Bray Distinguished Professor of Engineering, leads Purdue's Design, Modeling and Simulation Enabling Technology Area to be housed in the institute.

“It is through closer exchanges of knowledge that both industrial and academic enterprises benefit from the assets of the other in order to accelerate the development of their competitive positions." Pipes said. "The Indiana Manufacturing Institute will provide an innovative venue for academic and industrial stakeholders to join together for rapid transfer of technology to societal prosperity. As a national manufacturing institute, IACMI links the Indiana composites manufacturing efforts with our four state partners in Tennessee, Michigan, Colorado and Ohio to build the next generation manufacturing technology for the vehicle, wind and compressed gas application areas.”
Advanced manufacturing represents 25 percent of the Indiana economy, according to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

"The state of Indiana has a strong background in composite materials research, development and manufacturing with about 50 companies across the state contributing to this sector," said Victor Smith, Indiana Secretary of Commerce. "There is little doubt that our state's economic leadership in composite materials has a direct impact on the fact that Indiana continues to grow its national reputation in advanced manufacturing job growth."
In conjunction with the dedication of the Indiana Manufacturing Institute, IACMI-The Composites Institute is holding its semi-annual members meeting in Indianapolis Tuesday through Thursday (July 26-28).
"We alternate hosting our meetings within our partner states and intentionally chose the Indiana location for this meeting to coincide with the Indiana Manufacturing Institute dedication," said Craig Blue, CEO for the IACMI-The Composites Institute. “It showcases our institute’s growing base of capabilities and pays homage to our supporting state partners. Members from across the country have an opportunity to see the facility in person and connect with Purdue’s faculty and partner organizations.”

About10 faculty researchers and 20 graduate students will conduct research in the Center for Composites Manufacturing and Simulation.

"The most important endeavors for the Purdue College of Engineering are to educate future engineers and develop technologies to improve our global society. The Indiana Manufacturing Institute helps us achieve both of those goals," said Leah Jamieson, John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering. "Our students will have even greater education, internship and career prospects through their involvement in the institute. The research conducted in the institute will create new opportunities for translating research to practice."

Gary Bertoline, dean of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, concurred.

"Purdue offers a number of aeronautical engineering technology and aviation degrees from flight technology to professional flight," Bertoline said. "We are always looking for new ways to advance the educational experience of our students and expand the research opportunities for faculty. The Indiana Manufacturing Institute is an important addition for Purdue students and faculty."   

In partnership with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, an expenditure of almost $35 million in research equipment and materials in the institute is expected over the next five years, funded through a cooperative agreement with the DOE.

Purdue Research Foundation invested $11 million in the construction of the building, which is at the corner of Challenger Avenue and Yeager Road on property that was, in part, donated by the City of West Lafayette Redevelopment Commission. The foundation already owns the remainder of the land for the development.

"The City of West Lafayette and Purdue University have a strong, collaborative partnership, and the development of enterprises such as the Indiana Manufacturing Institute is an excellent example of the benefits that arise from this important relationship," said West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis. "Coupled with the State Street Redevelopment Project and the Purdue Innovation District, the future is bright for the entire Greater Lafayette area."

About Purdue University
Founded in 1869 in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University serves its state as well as the nation and the world. Purdue is a major research institution supported by top-ranking disciplines in pharmacy, business, engineering and agriculture. More than 39,000 students are enrolled here. All 50 states and 130 countries are represented in its student population.

About Purdue Research Park
The Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette is the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country. The park is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year from the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at [email protected]  

About IACMI-The Composites Institute
The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), managed by the Collaborative Composite Solutions Corporation (CCS), is a partnership of industry, universities, national laboratories, and federal, state and local governments working together to benefit the nation’s energy and economic security by sharing existing resources and co-investing to accelerate development and commercial deployment of advanced composites. CCS is a not-for-profit organization established by The University of Tennessee Research Foundation. The national institute is supported by a $70 million commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office and over $180 million committed from IACMI’s partners. Find out more at IACMI.org.

Cynthia Sequin, 765-413-6031, [email protected]
Abby Gras, 317-232-8845, [email protected]
Robin Pate, 678-595-3828, [email protected] 

Source: GlobeNewswire (July 27, 2016 - 2:44 PM EDT)

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