Bennet, Udall: Two New Digital Manufacturing Hubs Will Partner with Colorado Universities to Promote 21st Century Innovation

Collaboration will Create Jobs in Colorado, Help the Centennial State Win Global Economic Race

U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall — strong proponents of Colorado's manufacturing industry — welcomed the Department of Defense's announcement today of two new public-private manufacturing innovation institutes that will partner with two leading Colorado institutions of higher education. Together, these new hubs will support advanced manufacturing jobs and strengthen our national defense by boosting our technological capabilities. 

University of Colorado researchers in Boulder will partner with a new hub based in Chicago that will focus on digital manufacturing and design innovation. Colorado School of Mines will also partner with a second hub based in Detroit that will support research on lightweight and modern metals manufacturing.

"Colorado has a reputation as a hub for innovation because of its world-class universities, thriving entrepreneurial community, and pioneering spirit. It comes as no surprise that the University of Colorado, the Colorado School of Mines, and the Colorado Office of Economic Development were selected to participate in these new manufacturing hubs," Bennet said. "By connecting Colorado to this national network, we can ensure our manufacturers and universities are able to collaborate on new technologies that will create advanced manufacturing jobs and maintain our competitiveness in the 21st century economy."

"Colorado is a natural fit for this digital-manufacturing collaboration. Our state is home to one of the brightest and most innovative workforces in the nation, and the Centennial State is already home to entrepreneurs and new-energy manufacturers who are hard at work making Made-in-America jobs and goods," Udall said. "This collaboration will develop advanced technologies and manufacturing processes that will help create high-skill, high-paying American jobs and keep Colorado at the head of the pack in the high-tech marketplace. I am proud to support this collaboration with the Department of Defense and industry powerhouses to find solutions that benefit our national security, our economy and U.S. taxpayers."

The new manufacturing hubs will be supported with a $140 million federal funding commitment, combined with significant matching funds from several private sector partners.

Bennet and Udall led a bipartisan push last November to create the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, highlighting the support the project could expect from Colorado researchers. 

At the state level, the Colorado Economic Development Commission has also pledged funding to support the cutting-edge research that these new hubs will help unleash at University of Colorado and School of Mines labs. 

Today's announcement represents a promising collaboration between federal and state governments, as well as a range of private sector and academic partners, that will allow researchers at Colorado schools to play a central role in discovering new technologies to keep our military, our state and our nation competitive in the 21st century economy.