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July 25, 2022 | Tom Ballard

ACENet adds two universities in Texas and WV

The Knoxville-headquartered Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation  (IACMI) has announced two new partnerships to advance America’s Cutting Edge (ACE), an initiative designed to help close the skills gap and restore American dominance in machine tool technology and innovation.

The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station in College Station and Marshall University in Huntington, WV are joining ACENet, an emerging national network of regional machine tools innovation and workforce development hubs. In a news release, IACMI officials explained that adding ACE hubs in these two areas will benefit the residents and manufacturing ecosystem of Texas, West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky.

ACE is a joint Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Energy (DOE) initiative launched in 2020 to reestablish American leadership in the machine tool industry through transformative thinking, technology innovation, and workforce development.

Through ACE, DoD established a national computer numerical controlled (CNC) machining training program developed by University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Professor Tony Schmitz. The program brings together the scientific expertise of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility and the proven workforce development capabilities of IACMI. The first hub beyond Knoxville was announced in April 2022 in Greensboro, NC at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.



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