We are the Digital Lab for Manufacturing — a world-class, first-of-its-kind manufacturing hub based in Chicago with the capabilities, innovative spirit, and collaborative expertise to transform American manufacturing.
The Digital Lab is designed to significantly reduce development and deployment costs, while creating billions of dollars in value for the industrial marketplace—spurring long-term U.S. economic growth and job creation.
By applying best practices across the product life cycle
and establishing effective industry-academia-government partnerships,
we’re revolutionizing manufacturing.
“Our first priority is making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing…”
- President Obama
“This cutting-edge Digital Lab will ensure that the City of Big Shoulders remains the City of Big Discoveries for years to come.”
- Mayor Rahm Emanuel
President Obama has proposed building a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI),
consisting of regional hubs that will accelerate development and adoption
of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies for making new, globally competitive products.
40 industry partners
30+ academia, government, and community partners
500+ supporting companies and organizations
Working collaboratively, our partners have committed
over $250M in matching funds to support the Digital Lab,
leveraging $70M in funding from the federal government.
To transform manufacturing, a successful enterprise must bring together many key players
including commercial manufacturers, the federal government, top universities and vocational schools,
manufacturing associations, and state and local government organizations.
The Digital Lab has them on our team, and our partners are fully engaged.
The Digital Manufacturing Commons (DMC)
allows users to share data during the design-make process
and across the product life cycle
The DMC is an open-source platform for real-time design and manufacturing collaboration.
The platform provides a fundamentally new way for digital information to flow
securely between various segments of the product life cycle;
i.e., suppliers and customers, to and from intelligent machines and workers on the shop floor,
and through supply chains.
This innovation will unlock tremendous value for small and medium enterprises (SMEs),
original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and hardware and software tool-makers.
Dean Bartles, Ph.D. (below left)
Chief Technology OfficerWilliam King, Ph.D. (below right)
As part of our rigorous planning process, we worked with our industry and academic partners to design an optimal Digital Lab. The result is an integrated, efficient organization with a structure focusing management attention and partner resources on research and technology transition, including education and workforce development. Most importantly, we bring the transformational leadership needed to implement our approach.
Executive Director Dean Bartles, Ph.D., has 35 years of successful manufacturing operations, program management, marketing, and R&D at leading U.S. Defense firms. Dr. Bartles has spent the past 13 years as VP at General Dynamics - Ordnance and Tactical Systems.
Chief Technology Officer William King, Ph.D. is a globally recognized leader in manufacturing and design innovation. Dr. King is the College of Engineering Bliss Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he leads a research group whose work crosses boundaries between science, technology, and commercialization. Dr. King has been founder, advisor, or director at a dozen early stage technology companies with a focus on manufacturing, materials, and nanotechnology. He is the winner of numerous research awards and was named by Technology Review Magazine as a person whose innovations will change the world.
The Digital Lab will achieve self-sufficiency in 5 years
through applied research projects that are market-pull driven
and supported by leading manufacturers
such as GE, Rolls-Royce, P&G, Dow, Lockheed Martin, and Siemens.
The Digital Lab will allow companies of any size to adopt emerging innovations,
reducing the time and cost to design, source, and manufacture.
This will help transform the American manufacturing chain
and ensure the secure integration and communication of digital manufacturing
and supply chain data.
THE DIGITAL LAB IS SEEKING NEW PARTNERS TO HELP US TRANSFORM MANUFACTURING IN THE UNITED STATES. IF YOU'RE INTERESTED, PLEASE CONTACT US TO LEARN MORE
Thanks for your submission!
Copyright, UI LABS 2014
Photo Credits:Test Firing of 3-D Printed Part (NASA, Space Launch System, 07/24/13) by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
Wolf Point by Brian Koprowski
wire 2008 by Wire Trade Fair
Fluid Forms Laser Cutter in Action by Individual Design
Printing with a 3D Printer at Makers Party Bangalore 2013, 11 by Subhashish Panigrahi
madMeshMaker[foam1] by Madeline Gannon
gesture map detail by MattL