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President Obama Calls On University of Iowa, Others to Help with New Initiative

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Barack Obama announced plans Tuesday to create two new manufacturing innovation institutes in the Midwest aimed at advancing high-tech manufacturing. One lab will be put in Detroit, a second in Chicago. All three Iowa public universities will partner with the Chicago based lab in an effort to broaden digital manufacturing.

Engineers at the University of Iowa have been working towards such goals for years. Currently researchers are using digital humans to test digital products in digital factories.

The ultimate goal is to reduce the cost and time it takes to make things, said Dr. Karim Malek, director of UI's center for computer aided design.

73 companies, organizations, universities and laboratories will work with the $320 million Chicago based institute.

Malek said digital prototypes can undergo more testing, ultimately creating better products at a better rate for consumers.

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