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Siemens to partner in US digital manufacturing institute

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Siemens AG will become a partner in a digital manufacturing institute that US President Obama Barack Obama plans to set up, according to the company.

Bloomberg reports that Chuck Grindstaff, chief executive officer of Siemens’s PLM software business said the company will spend millions of dollars on the Chicago-based institute over the next five years.

It will contribute the software currently used by customers such as Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. to the institute.

“We actually participate in the research, we learn some, we contribute to the advances, and then ideally we’ll find opportunities to sell the technologies to potential customers,” Grindstaff said before the announcement of the manufacturing hub.

The planned Chicago facility is one of two announced by Obama this week. The other, to be based in Detroit, will be focussed on lightweight, high-performance metals and alloys.

Both will be led by the Defense Department. They will receive US$140 million ($156 million) in federal funding plus over US$320 million ($357 million) in private-sector funding.

The news follows last month’s announcement of the Next Generation Power Electronics Institute at Raleigh, North Carolina. Obama has pledged 45 such hubs by 2020 as part of his National Network for Manufacturing Innovation plan.

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