In June, President Barack Obama announced that the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) will lead the new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, in partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE).

The winning coalition brings together a consortium of nearly 200 partners from more than 30 states—and from across academia (including Rensselaer), industry, and nonprofits—to spur advances in smart sensors and digital process controls that can radically improve the efficiency of U.S. advanced manufacturing.

The Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, the ninth manufacturing hub awarded by the Obama administration, will focus on innovations such as smart sensors that can dramatically reduce energy expenses in advanced manufacturing, making our manufacturing sector strong today and positioning the United States to lead the manufacturing of tomorrow, helping sustain the resurgence of U.S. manufacturing currently underway.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, the Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute also will launch five regional manufacturing centers across the United States, each focused on local technology transfer and workforce development. Rensselaer will lead the Northeast center, where glass, ceramic, and microelectronics manufacturing have a strong presence.

We are very pleased to contribute even more vigorously to the revitalization of our nation’s manufacturing base.”—President Jackson.

Rensselaer will be responsible for administering the center for the DOE Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) programs, involving regional partners from industry, academia, and government. Overall, the CESMII partners will bring more than $140 million in public-private investment from leading universities and manufacturers to develop smart technologies and systems for use in advanced manufacturing.

“Advanced manufacturing is accelerating the translation of U.S. innovations in science and technology into new products and processes, and helping to create jobs across all technology sectors,” said President Shirley Ann Jackson. “We are very pleased that Rensselaer has been selected to lead the Northeast center of a new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, and to contribute even more vigorously to the revitalization of our nation’s manufacturing base.”

“At Rensselaer, we work within a paradigm that we term The New Polytechnic, in which we serve as a great crossroads for collaboration—working with partners across disciplines, sectors, and geographic regions—to address complex global challenges, using the most advanced tools and technologies, many of which are developed at Rensselaer,” President Jackson said. “The leadership we provide to the Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute will be the finest possible example of The New Polytechnic in action.”

Craig Dory, who currently serves as director for business development in the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS) at Rensselaer, will serve as the Northeast Regional Director for CESMII. Modeling, design, and controls expert B.Wayne Bequette, professor of chemical and biological engineering, will serve as the chief technology officer for the Northeast region, planning and coordinating R&D activities with academic and industrial partners.

Some of the CESMII partners measured goals include: doubling the energy productivity in U.S. manufacturing every 10 years, reducing the cost of deploying smart manufacturing (SM) systems relative to state-of-the-art systems in five years, increasing the SM workforce in the U.S. multifold in 10 years, doubling the SM supply chain rate of increase in value and participation, and reducing U.S. energy use in 10 years while increasing manufacturing competitiveness.

Read the full press release.