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Ill., Mich. Politicians Tout Manufacturing Labs

The Michigan institute will focus on lightweight and modern metals. The White House said that effort includes a 60-member consortium, pairing the world's leading producers of aluminum, titanium and high-strength steel with universities and researchers.

Michigan's long standing as a bastion of car-making may have helped that state grab one of the institutes. Automakers, seeking better fuel efficiency in their vehicles, increasingly have turned to lighter body components that burn up less gasoline.

The White House said pushing more research into lightweight metals through the planned institute also "will strengthen our defense capabilities, like enabling the creation of armored vehicles strong enough to withstand a roadside bomb but light enough for helicopter-transport."

John Anthony, a Canton trustee, told the Detroit Free Press he looked forward to hearing more details, calling that project potentially a revenue generator and "a tremendous opportunity."

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said he would work with the consortium to "maximize the job opportunities available to Detroiters."

The bidding competition overseen by the Defense Department drew proposals from across the country.

The two institutes a¿¿ along with last month's announcement that Raleigh, N.C., soon will be home to an Energy Department-led institute focusing on next-generation power electronics a¿¿ follow through on Obama's 2013 State of the Union pledge to push innovation through such regional hubs using existing resources. The Obama administration launched the bidding competition last May.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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