NC State selected for new manufacturing innovation hub

Image of researcher in lab (iStock).

Faculty members in the College will help lead the Southeast hub for a new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (SMII) that aims to spur technological innovation to improve the efficiency of advanced manufacturing in the United States.

The new institute will be led by the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition, based in Los Angeles, Calif., in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy. NC State will be the home of one of five regional hubs. Dr. Phillip Westmoreland, professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, will serve as director.

SMII will be backed by $800 million in federal and non-federal resources and will include nearly 200 partners from industry, federal research labs, academia and state and local government across 30 states.

SMII is the ninth announced hub in the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). NC State is the lead institution for one of those hubs, Power America, which is advancing the research, design and manufacturing in the area of wide bandgap semiconductor-based power electronics.

The institute will work in the areas of advanced sensors and controls, data analytics, advanced predictive modeling and simulation software, and application toolkits that can dramatically reduce energy expenses in advanced manufacturing.

The NC State-led hub will include a technical focus on the energy-intensive pulp and paper industries, carbon fiber, primary metals, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and other industries.

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