LIFT Renews Detroit Lease On State-of-the-Art Advanced Manufacturing R&D and Education Facility

Lease extension will keep Department of Defense-supported institute in Corktown neighborhood for the next five years– and beyond

DETROIT – LIFT – Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow, a Detroit-based advanced manufacturing innovation institute, operated by the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII), today announced it has extended the lease on its Corktown research and development facility for another five years.

LIFT, which was established by the U.S. Department of Defense in 2014, in collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), University of Michigan, the Ohio State University and EWI, moved its operations into the 100,000 square-foot facility in 2015 and will remain at 1400 Rosa Parks Blvd. until February 2025, at least, cementing its national roots in Corktown which is rapidly becoming the Silicon Valley of Michigan manufacturing.

In October 2017, LIFT unveiled its high-bay applied research development and innovation space, which included $50 million worth of advanced manufacturing equipment. Earlier in 2019, the institute opened its LIFT Learning Lab, a unique, immersive space designed to prepare students for the most in-demand and highlycompensated manufacturing careers.

“It is great to see LIFT carry forward the manufacturing legacy that began in our state with its commitment to Corktown,” Michigan Lt. Gov. Gilchrist said. “With the highest concentration of engineers in the entire country located right here in Southeast Michigan, we have the talent, brain power, and innovative excellence to manufacture the products of the future. Our administration will continue to do everything within our power to ensure that people, businesses, and organizations have what they need to utilize the tremendous potential that exists in Michigan.”

“The U.S. Department of Defense could have located LIFT anywhere in the country, and is making a long-term commitment to Detroit because we are leaders in advanced manufacturing and innovation,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “We’ll continue building an environment where advanced manufacturing jobs can flourish in Detroit.”

“LIFT is committed to Detroit and the state of Michigan for the long term,” said Nigel Francis, chief executive officer and executive director, LIFT. “Both the Department of Defense and the State of Michigan put a stake in the ground by establishing this institute in the heart of American manufacturing. We are proud to be driving advanced manufacturing forward by developing unique technology innovations and educational tools for the nation right here in Detroit.”

Since LIFT moved into the building in 2015, it has hosted thousands of meetings and events including U.S. Cabinet secretaries, governors, senators, congressmembers along with industry leaders, educators and students from all over the nation. LIFT has hosted over 4,700 visitors over the past year – or about two visitors every hour of every business day.

Originally chartered under a five-year agreement through the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and managed through the Office of Naval Research (ONR), LIFT has had more than $100 million of federal support, and matched this dollar-for-dollar with industry funding to support its national mandate.

LIFT, operated by the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII), is a Detroit-based, public-private partnership committed to the development and deployment of advanced lightweight material manufacturing technologies, and implementing education and training initiatives to better prepare the workforce today and in the future. LIFT is one of the founding institutes of Manufacturing USA, and is funded in part by the Department of Defense with management through the Office of Naval Research. Visit or follow on Twitter @NewsFromLIFT to learn more.

Joe Steele