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News | March 20, 2024

MxD, LIFT Celebrate Joint 10-Year Anniversary

March 20, 2024 (WASHINGTON, D.C.) — MxD and LIFT, manufacturing innovation institutes sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense based in Chicago and Detroit, respectively, celebrate a decade of bolstering the vitality of the American manufacturing sector and strengthening the nation’s defense industrial base in 2024.

Recognizing manufacturing is a major driver of both innovative research and development and a pathway to high-paying jobs, public and private founders established MxD and LIFT in response to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression to reinvigorate, revitalize, and reshore U.S. manufacturing.

Since its launch, MxD has collaborated with its nearly 300 members on a portfolio of close to 180 R&D, cybersecurity, and workforce development projects across 35 states. Its workforce development arm, MxD Learn, has supported more than 250,000 learners, including K-12 students, post-secondary students, current workers, and educators through online learning courses, workshops, projects, and visits. And MxD Cyber has provided thousands of U.S. manufacturers a unified and systematic approach to securing their operations by providing the tools, protocols, skills, and information they need to undertake a secure digital transformation.

LIFT has evolved over the last 10 years to become the national advanced materials manufacturing innovation institute, working at the intersection of advanced materials, manufacturing processes, systems engineering, and talent development. Over the last decade, LIFT has developed an ecosystem of more than 340 members, executed more than 150 technology and talent development programs and impacted more than 250,000 students, including providing advanced manufacturing certification opportunities for thousands of adult learners. LIFT has also leaned into its national mandate with a satellite facility in Puerto Rico and plans for another in Florida.

MxD CEO Berardino Baratta said, “This anniversary represents a decade of MxD convening, advancing, and empowering in service of a more robust and resilient U.S. manufacturing sector. Our accomplishments are thanks to a dynamic and diverse ecosystem, our talented and passionate team, and steadfast support from the DoD and our elected leaders. While this milestone affords an opportunity to reflect on our achievements, I’m even more excited about the decades ahead.”

LIFT CEO and Executive Director Nigel Francis said, “For 10 years, we have acted as a trusted advisor to the private and public sectors by helping manufacturers make the leap from research to commercialization – strengthening our nation’s defense supply chains and bolstering U.S. global economic competitiveness, while creating new educational pathways and venues to prepare the workforce of tomorrow.”

“Over the last ten years, MxD has demonstrated the power of investing in the advancement of America’s manufacturing sector. This is just the beginning,” said Senator Dick Durbin.“I look forward to celebrating more milestones with MxD as it continues to fortify our national defense supply chain and push our economy forward.”

Senator Tammy Duckworth said, “Maintaining global leadership in advanced manufacturing is vital for ensuring the strength of our defense industrial base. I would like to thank MxD for 10 years of bringing innovative, cutting-edge manufacturing knowhow to Illinois that helps bolster both our national security as well as our economy, and I look forward to more progress in the years to come.”

“Michigan is home to the best manufacturers in the world, and LIFT knows this. For the past decade, LIFT and their partners at MxD have played a large role in investing in Michigan workers, strengthening our national security, and ensuring that our country remains a global leader in advanced manufacturing,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow.

“I have always said you can’t be a great country if you don’t make things. Michigan has long been the beating heart of American manufacturing, and LIFT and their partners at MxD are continuing that legacy by supporting manufacturers and workers across our state and country,” said Senator Gary Peters. “After leading the charge to help establish LIFT, I’m happy to congratulate them on 10 years of bringing manufacturers together and advancing our nation’s position as the global leader in advanced manufacturing.”

Ms. Heidi Shyu, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering said, “America’s defense industrial base is only as strong as the cutting-edge companies that supply it, and we want to thank MxD and LIFT for their unwavering mission to strengthen these critical supply chains at every step. Their work has had tangible, impactful benefits to U.S. defense operations, and will continue to be crucial going forward.”

About MxD
MxD (Manufacturing x Digital) advances economic prosperity and national security by strengthening U.S. manufacturing competitiveness through technology innovation, workforce development, and cybersecurity preparedness. In partnership with the Department of Defense, we convene an ecosystem to solve critical manufacturing challenges by accelerating digital adoption, empowering a skilled workforce, and modernizing supply chains. MxD is also the National Center for Cybersecurity in Manufacturing as designated by DoD. Visit to learn more.

About LIFT
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 metal 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 to learn more.