The Value of Public-Private Partnerships… From the Desk of Nigel Francis, LIFT CEO and Executive Director

Nigel Francis

Public-private-partnerships are just that – government and the private sector teaming up to solve problems that no one organization can solve on its own. As an institute, we were built to bring together industry, government and academia to advance manufacturing, support the warfighter and strengthen the national economy, and all of that benefits our national security.

There are things that no single organization – even the federal government or the Department of Defense – could do on its own. We need to have everyone at the table, from large companies to small, from community and technical colleges to large research universities and from the federal government to state and local. Everyone needs to be involved. Collaboration is critical in innovation, and drive success and rapid deployment of technology into industry.

Earlier this year, the Department of Defense commissioned a workshop through the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to study the benefits the institutes had provided thus far and, frankly, to hear where the institutes could improve. Like any company in the private sector, the DoD was looking to hear the “voice of the customer” to study how it should continue supporting its institutes. In other words, how and to what extent it should continue the “public” side of the public-private-partnership.

The workshop was made up of industry, academia, institute members, government, institute staff and other key stakeholders. There was very good honest and frank conversation among the participants, which is exactly what a workshop like that is designed to have.

Recently, the National Academies published its initial report on the workshop. It provides an in-depth look at what was communicated during the workshop and how the various stakeholder groups were aligned regarding the work being done that the institutes.

If you would like to read or download it, you can do so here.

The High Bay is Humming
Our facility here in Detroit has been a hub of activity as of late, and I invite you to come visit. If it has been some time since you

have taken a tour, or if you have never had the opportunity, you will be impressed by our growing capabilities and project work underway.

Our extrusion press, flexible robotic cell, and 3-axis CNC machines are all up and running, making parts and prototypes, for LIFT project teams and members. Our Linear Friction Welding machine is just about to get started on project work of its own and has already produced many run-off samples.

This facility was built for you to use, and I encourage you to visit and talk with us about how we can help you achieve your goals and help drive your organization into the future!