WASHINGTON — The Pentagon will oversee two White House-backed manufacturing institutes, one focusing on digitizing the manufacturing process and another on producing lightweight, modern metals.
DoD officials hope the two projects will revolutionize weapon development and also have commercial uses.
The Pentagon will put $50 million toward each project, according to a statement. Other government agencies will contribute $20 million for each effort, as well.
The digital manufacturing institute “will address the life cycle of digital data interchanged among myriad design, engineering, manufacturing and maintenance systems, and flowing across a networked supply chain,” the statement said.
The lightweight and modern metals manufacturing institute “will accelerate the introduction and expand the use of more affordable products made with high strength-to-weight alloys that improve performance and reduce energy consumption.”
The two institutes will be made up of top manufacturing companies and research universities. DoD will solicit bids for each institute with contract awards expected later this year.
At the same time, the Energy Department will set up a third institute for next-generation power electronics manufacturing.