SCRA to Manage the Consortium for the UI LABS-led Multi-Partner Team

SCRA Applied R&D will act as the consortia manager for the recently announced Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation (DMDI) Institute. United States President Barack Obama announced the award at a press conference yesterday. The federal investment for the DMDI Institute will be used to establish the Digital Lab for Manufacturing (Digital Lab), led by UI LABS, a Chicago-based research and commercialization collaborative. Along with the $70 million cooperative agreement, UI LABS has secured an additional $250 million dollars of support from industry, university, government and community partners to form the $320 million Digital Lab.

The Digital Lab will be headquartered in Chicago and connected to a network of manufacturing research sites across the United States. Areas of focus include Advanced Analysis, Intelligent Machining and “Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise,” which are agile and robust manufacturing strategies and integrated capabilities that dramatically reduce the cost and time of producing complex system parts. The Lab will apply cutting-edge mobile, cloud and high-performance computing technologies to the manufacturing challenges of the Department of Defense and to industry. By utilizing the Digital Manufacturing Commons (DMC), an open-source online software platform, the Digital Lab will create online networks of people, manufacturing machines and factories. In turn, this will enable real-time collaboration and analysis of big data during the design and manufacturing processes -reducing the time and cost of manufacturing, strengthening the capabilities of the U.S. supply chain and reducing Department of Defense acquisition costs.

“This award continues to emphasize the rising national profile of SCRA in terms of our collaboration management expertise and our recognized ability to bring together disparate partners and effectively deliver operational new technologies,” said SCRA Applied R&D President Chris Van Metre. “We look forward to working with the industry, government and academic partners to solve manufacturing challenges and strengthen our manufacturing base.”

The UI LABS-led consortium includes: world-class technology companies as well as both defense and commercial manufacturers; next-generation technology companies; the nation’s premier engineering schools; one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers; nationally-recognized education and workforce partners; a network of local, regional and national organizations; community colleges and MEP partners. The full list of industry, academic and community partners can be found at