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Ohio State, Michigan partner with company on research

$70 million contract at center

COLUMBUS  — A $70 million federal contract is at the center of a new partnership between a central Ohio company and two universities to help research and develop innovations in lightweight metals.

Ohio State University says it is teaming with a Columbus company, EWI, and the University of Michigan for the project, which could help retain manufacturing jobs and create up to 10,000 jobs in the Midwest.

President Obama will announce the contract award this week as part of his initiative to establish manufacturing innovation centers, The Columbus Dispatch reported today. OSU said the money will come from the U.S. Navy’s budget.

The $70 million from the federal government will be distributed over five years. State governments and private companies will invest at least $70 million more. The states of Ohio and Michigan each will contribute $10 million toward the project, said Glenn Daehn, an engineering professor at Ohio State.

EWI, located near the OSU campus, was launched during the early 1980s by Ohio State as a nonprofit research company. It develops and applies manufacturing technology innovations to the aerospace, automotive and defense industries.

EWI and the universities are creating the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute, with offices in the Detroit area.

Ohio State said that some of the projects could include developing lightweight metals for hulls of Navy ships, corrosion-resistant propellers, and lighter, safer cars that are more energy-efficient.

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