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Pitt Joins Southwestern PA Defense Manufacturing Community Consortium

PITTSBURGH (Oct. 13, 2020) — The U.S. Department of Defense recently designated a consortium of southwestern Pennsylvanian defense industry organizations as a Defense Manufacturing Community, awarding the group $5 million toward the Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing (AIM) Defense Industry Consortium. Two representatives from the University of Pittsburgh will join the Consortium, which is led by Catalyst Connection.

Robert Stein, Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Entrepreneurship & Executive Director at Pitt’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence (IEE), and Liza Allison, program administrator for the University of Pittsburgh Center for Advanced Manufacturing (UPCAM), will serve among the 30 consortium members in the region.

The goal of the AIM defense industry ecosystem is to focus on the integration of DoD modernization priorities in artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing and robotics, together with the DoD critical needs for advanced metals and materials.

"Pitt is excited to collaborate with Catalyst Connection on this exciting Department of Defense grant to strengthen the defense supply chain,” said Stein. “Pitt's efforts include a cohort for product commercialization and an industry liaison between Pitt and the defense industrial base.”

According to Catalyst Connection, the AIM Consortium’s strategy for its three-year project includes “establishing anchor sites for defense manufacturing collaboration and assistance, conducting a research and innovation alliance, filling gaps and boosting connections in the defense industries supply chain, enhancing and integrating workforce training and education, providing technical assistance and support to small defense industry manufacturers, and building the defense manufacturing ecosystem with convenings and communications.” 

“Pitt is honored to be a part of this regional endeavor. Our innovations in the conventional metals industry and research into new and novel manufacturing technologies will continue to advance and can be enhanced by the vital government-industrial-academic relationship such as envisioned in the DMCP,” said Allison. “I look forward to the many opportunities this consortium will bring to our region and to our University.” 

Author: Maggie Pavlick