LIFT was established in 2014 as a non-profit public-private partnership connecting government, industry, and academia to accelerate the development of advanced materials, manufacturing processes, systems engineering, and talent to enhance America’s manufacturing competitiveness, economy, and security. LIFT pursues these objectives via two interlocking programs focused on:


Together with our industry partners, LIFT designs, builds, tests, and validates new materials and develops new manufacturing processes to drive advanced technologies into manufacturing, scale up and commercialization. Our emphasis on accelerated innovation and commercialization at scale provides the transformational changes needed for the U.S. to compete in the global advanced manufacturing race.


LIFT designs, develops, and deploys new educational tools, new venues, new teaching techniques and new curricula nationwide to ensure tomorrow’s manufacturing workforce has the knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully work in the advanced manufacturing future. Two of the foundational initiatives include IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing® and Operation Next®.

LIFT By the Numbers

Here are just a few of the vital statistics showing LIFT’s impact on the advanced manufacturing sector over the last decade.

Headquarters in Detroit – The heart of American Manufacturing, with new satellite operations in Puerto Rico and Florida.

LIFT’s advancements play a significant role in ensuring the safety of our military personnel and in saving human lives.

Building Strong Partnerships with Industry and Defense

LIFT’s ecosystem includes global manufacturing companies, small and medium-sized manufacturers, industry associations, academic and research organizations, and all levels of government. These partnerships have led to breakthrough technologies being transitioned into commercialization and new unique talent development programs all for the benefit of the warfighter and industry.

Two cooperative agreements with the Department of Defense, establishing LIFT as the National Advanced Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute.

$49 million agreement with the Combat Capabilities Development Command and Ground Vehicle Systems Center allowing LIFT to broaden its impact within the Army Futures Command arena.

Major investments from industry partners, cementing LIFT’s Detroit headquarters as the national “showcase and sandbox” for advanced materials development.

A Mission that Creates and Explores Unlimited Possibilities

“LIFT’s mission is rooted in America’s commitment to leadership in industrial innovation and to providing opportunities for a broad cross-section of workers. We’re an accelerator, a think-tank, a do-tank, a place where government, industry and academia collaborate to enhance our country’s manufacturing competitiveness, economy, and security.

LIFT is exploring innovative new materials and novel manufacturing techniques that can dramatically improve many of the industry’s capabilities. We’re blazing the trail for a dramatic manufacturing revolution that will change how the world builds what it needs to create a better quality of life for everyone.”

—Nigel Francis, CEO and Executive Director, LIFT


LIFT’s facilities offer highly advanced capabilities and one-of-a-kind pieces of equipment to develop and scale advanced materials, revolutionary processes and teach the current and future workforce. We do this through our:

LIFT High Bay — a 100,000 square foot cutting edge space dedicated to applied research, development, and education around advanced materials and manufacturing processes, and to transitioning those breakthroughs to the market.

Learning Lab — a one-of-a-kind educational development facility providing immersive opportunities for students to learn advanced manufacturing skills and instructors to pilot new methodologies.

Connecting and Convening — LIFT offers in-house professionals as well as a national network of manufacturing experts to offer insights, ideas, and strategies to help businesses overcome manufacturing challenges, technology transfer, and acceleration into the marketplace.

Collaboration is critical in innovation, and it drives success and rapid deployment of technology into industry”.
— Nigel Francis, CEO and Executive Director, LIFT

LIFT’s partnerships across the manufacturing spectrum eliminate barriers to entry for both innovative ideas and skilled workers eager to Drive American Advanced Manufacturing Into the Future.

“LIFT means different things to different stakeholders. For some it’s access to our next-generation industrial equipment and expertise. For others, it’s the opportunity to de-risk early-stage technology through collaborative R&D.”

2024 Marking a Decade of Achievement, Leading Future Advancements

As we look forward, we are committed to our mission as a national manufacturing institute, actively broadening our operations into new territories such as Florida, Puerto Rico, and other regions. We continue to build on our existing foundation in technology and development, by connecting advanced materials, manufacturing processes, systems engineering and talent, in support of our national defense and economic security.

To learn about 10 years of success, click below.

Manufacturing USA

LIFT is also a founding member of Manufacturing USA, a network of advanced manufacturing institutes bringing together industry, academia, and federal partners within to promote a robust and sustainable national manufacturing R&D infrastructure.