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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Economic Development Administration Invests $1.9 Million to Support Advanced Manufacturing in Southern Kansas

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WICHITA – U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams today announced a nearly $1.9 million U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to Wichita State University (WSU) to support advanced manufacturing. Assistant Secretary Williams made the announcement at a Manufacturing Day event at WSU where he was joined by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback as well as WSU President John Bardo, Ph.D., who indicated this investment is expected to create 500 jobs in the area.

“The Obama Administration is committed to supporting public-private partnerships that strengthen American manufacturing in order help to keep the U.S. competitive on a global scale,” said Assistant Secretary Williams. “The EDA investment announced today will help South Kansas test and develop new technologies that have the potential to lead advances in manufacturing that could ultimately benefit a wide variety of industries.”

EDA’s investment will be used to purchase equipment for a multi-robotic additive manufacturing laboratory. The new equipment will enable manufacturers, entrepreneurs and designers to use virtual reality to test automated processes and verify that they are sustainable, scalable, affordable, and maintainable before investing in implementation. The equipment will also be used to train students, existing workers, and those in the workforce pipeline on simulation and additive manufacturing technology.

Ultimately, the project will further regional capabilities in advanced manufacturing with an emphasis on automated additive manufacturing innovation and will provide competitive advantage for the transportation equipment manufacturing industry.

These technologies will also be applied to the emerging medical equipment manufacturing cluster in the region. Wichita State is a leader in the South Kansas Manufacturing Community consortium, which U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced as one of the 12 Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) designated communities in May.

“South Kansas is one of the most manufacturing-specialized regions in the United States, and is a leader in advanced materials,” said Wichita State President John Bardo. “We are thrilled about the region’s IMCP designation and are eager to begin moving the field forward with help from EDA’s grant and our community partners.”

The laboratory will initially be housed within Wichita State laboratories at the National Center for Aviation Training and will move to the experimental engineering building at Innovation Campus as soon as it is complete.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.