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New LIFT Center to Focus on Defense Work

April 5, 2021

LIFT, a Detroit-based manufacturing research institute focused on transportation technologies, is establishing a new development center in Sterling Heights, Mich., to expand its work on U.S. Department of Defense-related technology. In addition to its operation in Detroit, LIFT will have its team and program managers in place at the Defense Corridor Center for Collaboration and Synergy (DC3S), close to the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) at the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Mich.

According to the U.S. Army, DEVCOM “is the nation's laboratory for advanced military automotive technology.”

The DEVCOM Ground Vehicle Systems Center works to advance Army ground vehicles’ “survivability, mobility, intelligent systems, maneuver support and sustainment,” and it researches and develops advanced technology into ground systems and support equipment

LIFT’s new operation will include a high-bay area to highlight LIFT’s work in technology and talent development, specifically with work being supporting U.S. military programs.

“Our team is expanding, and so is our work with the Dept. of Defense, specifically DEVCOM GVSC in Macomb County, and it is important for us to be in as close a proximity as possible to our customer as this work expands and develops,” said Nigel Francis, CEO and executive director.

Relatedly, LIFT is working with Macomb Community College to provide advanced manufacturing training through the latter’s “Operation Next” program, which provides credentialing opportunities in Michigan for civilians and National Guard and Reserves members. The hybrid training developed by LIFT combines self-directed virtual learning with hands-on lab work to provide foundational knowledge, practical skills, and credentials in welding, CNC machining, industrial technology maintenance, and robotics.

LIFT was established in 2014 to coordinate academic and industrial research into advanced lightweight mobility technologies. It is operated by the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute, and partly funded by the Dept. of Defense and managed through the Office of Naval Research.

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