New Illinois lab to link companies with research

CHAMPAIGN (AP) — The professor who's helping lead a new digital manufacturing lab planned for Chicago says the facility will mean 50 to 70 jobs for the city but a wealth of potential innovation for companies involved.

William King is an engineering professor at the University of Illinois. He will be the chief technical officer of the new Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute.

Big companies such as Caterpillar Inc. and Deere & Co. are part of it along with dozens of smaller firms.

King says the lab should become a link between research that often stays at universities and manufacturers large and small that can use it

Another institute in Detroit will focus on lightweight materials.

The institutes will get $70 million each in federal funding and millions more from outside sources.