National composites innovation hub slated for Knoxville, Tennessee


A consortium of 122 companies, non-profit organizations, universities and research laboratories is partnering with the Department of Energy to create a $250 million-plus manufacturing innovation institute focused on US leadership in next-generation composite materials, such as carbon fiber composites.

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, led by the University of Tennessee, was announced by President Obama last week in what is the latest in a series of partnerships aimed at boosting advanced manufacturing and fostering American innovation. The institute will receive $70 million in federal funds and more than $180 million in non-federal funds

A key objective of the new institute is to bring the cost of advanced fiber-reinforced polymer composites down the cost curve to enable their use for a broader range of products including lightweight vehicles with enhanced fuel economy; lighter and longer wind turbine blades; high pressure tanks for natural gas-fueled cars; and lighter, more efficient industrial equipment.

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