The Enlighten Series – An Introduction To Innovation

Welcome to the Enlighten Series – a new blog from LIFT – Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow.

LIFT is a Detroit-based applied research and development institute with a mission of developing and deploying lightweight metals solutions for the U.S. commercial and defense markets, while also working to ensure there is a robust talent pipeline to fill the manufacturing and engineering jobs available today and in the future.

We are a public-private partnership, established by the U.S. Department of Defense, made up of Fortune 500 corporations, large academic institutions, along with small and start-up to companies just getting their businesses off the ground.

This new Enlighten series will highlight the work being done at LIFT and by our over 125 members and partners organizations around the country to help reinvigorate manufacturing in this country.

Since LIFT’s creation, we have kicked off nearly 20 technology R&D programs and made investments in over 40 education and workforce development initiatives.

Among those programs and projects:

  • Removing 50 percent of the weight from a cast iron heavy truck component – potentially changing the casting industry going forward
  • Preparing our military members for civilian jobs by providing educational opportunities in some of the most in-demand advanced manufacturing jobs
  • Helping scale a defense contractor’s anti-lock brake and electric stability control system to reduce fatal Humvee rollovers by 74 percent, better protecting our men and women in uniform
  • Developing the LIFT Online Learning Hub, providing teachers and students with access to hundreds of educational tools around lightweight metals and composite materials.
  • Assembling a team of expert educators to recommend ways in which college and university curricula can be improved to better prepare students to work with new and developing industry technologies and processes.

All of these projects and initiatives are supported by our 100,000-square foot lightweighting research facility in Detroit. The facility, and its $50 million valued joint investment with IACMI (Composite Institute) unveiled in October, boasts next-gen, high-end, full-scale metalworking manufacturing equipment.  Additional staff are being added to support in-house engineering and design to help companies in their lightweighting and manufacturing endeavours.

We are on the forefront of a new era of manufacturing in this country, and are focused on making sure the innovations we are developing are available to students and companies across the country.

We invite you to join us on our journey of access, collaboration and innovation. To follow this blog, visit us at and to join in the conversation on Twitter: @NewsFromLIFT