Purdue Opens $50 million Composite Materials Research Centre

Over 300 people and about 20 Indiana composite materials companies celebrated the opening of the $50 million Indiana Manufacturing Institute, based in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette.

The institute will house the Centre for Composites Manufacturing and Simulation where Purdue researchers and graduate students from the local College of Engineering and Polytechnic Institute will conduct research and development on composite materials to increase energy efficiency for the vehicle production, wind, aerospace and other industries.

Purdue’s Product life-cycle Management Centre and the Indiana Next Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Centre, or IN-MaC, also will be located in the institute. The three centres will occupy 30,000 square feet of the 62,000-square-foot institute. The institute’s remaining 32,000 square feet will be used for public or private enterprises interested in collaborating on composite materials research with Purdue University.

The Centre is part of a $250 million U.S. Department of Energy initiative to support President Barack Obama’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. The DOE project, called the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation a five-year public-private collaboration that includes a federal commitment of $70 million and over $180 million pledged by industry, state economic development agencies and universities. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is the lead institution in the collaboration that includes public and private agencies in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Colorado.

In partnership with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, an expenditure of almost $35 million in research equipment and materials in the institute is expected over the next five years, funded through a cooperative agreement with the DOE.

Purdue Research Foundation invested $11 million in the construction of the building on property that was, in part, donated by the City of West Lafayette Redevelopment Commission. The foundation already owns the remainder of the land for the development.