02.25.14

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Applauds White House Action to Invest in Public-Private Manufacturing Hub

Midwest Manufacturing Innovation Institute will Strengthen Wisconsin Economy

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today applauded President Obama’s announcement to invest in a Midwest Digital Lab for Manufacturing (Digital Lab) to boost advanced manufacturing, strengthen our capabilities for defense, and attract the types of high-quality jobs required by a growing middle class. The investment will support a consortium of businesses and universities that includes the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Rockwell Automation, and others. The consortium of 73 companies, nonprofits, and universities, headquartered in Chicago and led by UI Labs, will concentrate on digital manufacturing and design technologies.
 
“This is a strong investment in working to create an economy that is built to last,” said Senator Baldwin. “This public-private partnership supports Wisconsin research and innovation and will strengthen our advanced manufacturing economy. The Digital Lab for Manufacturing will expand access to new technologies and opportunities for small manufacturers, and help create high-wage, high-skilled jobs for Wisconsin workers.”

Last November, Baldwin joined a bipartisan group of her Senate colleagues supporting the investment in the Digital Lab, which will be the nation’s flagship research institute for Digital Manufacturing. The applied research institute will both develop and demonstrate digital manufacturing technologies and deploy and commercialize these technologies across key manufacturing industries. The $70 million cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Defense will be leveraged by commitments of $250 million from industry, academia, government and community partners, forming a $320 million Institute.
 
In July 2013, Senators Brown (D-OH) and Blunt (R-MO) and Congressmen Reed (R-NY) and Kennedy (D-MA) co-sponsored bipartisan legislation in both the Senate and House that would create a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation led by the Department of Commerce. Senator Baldwin is a strong supporter of the bipartisan, legislative effort and as a member of the Senate Budget Committee, Baldwin sponsored a budget amendment that would invest in a broad range of manufacturing opportunities, including these regional manufacturing hubs of collaborative research and development.
 
Baldwin has also joined 22 of her Senate colleagues in launching a campaign to get Washington to refocus on manufacturing jobs. The Manufacturing Jobs for America initiative aims to build bipartisan support for legislation that will modernize America’s manufacturing sector, help American manufacturers grow and create jobs, and assist American workers in getting the skills to succeed in the next generation of manufacturing jobs.