Los Angeles

Obama Announces Los Angeles-Based Manufacturing Hub

Researchers in Los Angeles will coordinate the work of five regional centers -- one at UCLA, and outposts in Texas, New York, Washington and North Carolina.

President Barack Obama announced Monday that Los Angeles will become the headquarters for a federally funded institute devoted to developing sensors that make manufacturing more efficient.

Obama announced the project, which will receive more than $140 million in public and private funding, at the SelectUSA summit in Washington, D.C.

A consortium of researchers in Los Angeles will coordinate the work of five regional centers -- one at UCLA, and outposts in Texas, New York, Washington and North Carolina. Dozens of companies across the country will participate and invest in the initiative, including Google, Microsoft and Northrop Grumman.

The initiative will get $70 million from the Department of Energy, and $70 million from private companies and state entities.

One of the hub's goals is to develop advanced sensors that monitor the use of energy in manufacturing and make the software available on an open- source platform so that the code used to create the sensors is broadly available.

"We are entering a sensor world,'' said Lynn Orr, the undersecretary for science and energy. He said it has become much cheaper even for households to use "smart'' tech to regulate their consumption of electricity, heat and water.

"What we are trying to do here is to apply and use those techniques more effectively to make manufacturing more efficient, more productive,'' Orr added.

Manufacturers use about a third of the energy consumed in the country, he said. Sensors can help commercial manufacturers figure out exactly what part of their process is sucking up the most energy.

Congressman Ted Lieu, D-Los Angeles, called today's announcement "welcome news for Los Angeles, California, and our nation. I applaud President Obama, (UCLA) Chancellor Block, the faculty and staff at UCLA for this innovative partnership that will certainly be an important step forward in energizing our manufacturing base -- a key component of American economic leadership in the 21st century global economy,'' Lieu said. "I look forward to any and every opportunity to support UCLA in this groundbreaking work.''

This is the ninth center for manufacturing research created by the Obama administration. The president also announced the launch of five new manufacturing hub competitions which will invest nearly $800 million from private companies, participating states, and different branches of government, including the Defense Department and the Department of Energy.

Copyright City News Service

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