REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (March 6, 2014) -- When President Barack Obama spoke to the nation Feb. 25 about the next two Department of Defense-led manufacturing institutes, Army Materiel Command leaders were there.

Gen. Dennis L. Via, AMC Commander, as well as RDECOM Director Dale Ormond, and AMC Chief Technology Officer Dr. Grace Bochenek, were among the Department of Defense and industry invitees. Also included were Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics; Dr. Ernest Moniz, Secretary of Energy, and Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John P. Holdren.

The two institutes, the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, and the Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation were lauded during Obama's remarks.

"America stands on a new manufacturing frontier, where hi-tech products are designed and tested within a virtual environment. The DMDI will get us there," said President Obama.

AMRDEC, located at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., will lead the DMDI. The event served as an announcement of a five-year cooperative agreement for the consortium, to be led by UI Labs in Chicago.

While the Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation is led by the Navy, it has strong linkage with TARDEC and the Department of Energy. University of Michigan is the lead for that consortium.

During the event, the President spoke about the importance of technological innovation, global competitiveness, and the power of manufacturing. He highlighted the nation's ability to innovate and build, which he called "a key to the U.S.'s future, and a key to our economy."

The newly-announced consortiums are comprised of 40 large and small industry and more than 30 academia, government and community partners. Each partner is focused on reducing the time and cost associated with the development of manufactured products.

"The Army is shaping the future through these new institutes and new approaches to drive innovation," Bochenek said. "These new initiatives bring academia, all levels of industry and the Army together in a unique, collaborative way -- it will be through this synergy that new technical advancements will be made and delivered. We clearly are on the ground floor and driving the nation's next generation of technologies and our ability to manufacture them in the United States is key."

Recently published Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Army goals emphasize the critical nature of science and technology and research and development.

"As we look into the future towards 2025 and beyond our Army must maintain its technological advantage, it must maintain its engineering and scientist competencies, and it must strengthen our ability to change technological innovation into Army products and systems," Bochenek said. "AMC is the Army's agent to accomplish this goal. We are turning the crank, building the technical people, the new technologies and new industries."

"Today demonstrates the Army and AMC's commitment and contribution to building our future ... a future that enables innovation, a future that drives technological advancements, ensuring that our country and our Army maintain technological superiority," she said. "It's our nation's ability to drive American prosperity through technological innovation. It's our ability to take these innovations and turn them into solutions."