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Bid could bring a high-tech manufacturing hub to Detroit

February 3, 2014

At least three Michigan lawmakers say Metro Detroit is well-positioned to earn one of four high-tech advanced manufacturing hubs that are up for grabs in a national competition - an effort backed by the state's economic development agency. In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Barack Obama said he wanted to expand beyond the existing hubs in Youngstown, Ohio, and Raleigh, N.C., and add several more to the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation that aims to connect research universities to businesses and accelerate cutting-edge advanced manufacturing technologies. Detroit - hometown of the American auto industry and Wayne State University, and in need of an economic revival - is uniquely qualified to host a manufacturing research and development center, some of Michigan's congressional delegation members argue. "I'm going to go figure out how we go after one at Wayne State," said Debbie Dingell, who was in Washington to hear Obama's speech. She noted WSU's relationships with the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, which together formed a consortium known as the University Research Corridor that aims to translate research into economic development. "You will be seeing people get together in Michigan and figuring how to do it," said Dingell, who also is one of Michigan's members of the Democratic National Committee.