Volkswagen Group of America Joins National Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation

New public-private partnership will create jobs and bolster manufacturing within the automotive, wind turbine and compressed gas storage industries

Herndon, VA (January 9, 2015) – Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWGoA) today announced its participation in the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), led by The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The U.S. Department of Energy designated IACMI to become a new national institute aimed at creating better composite materials and technologies for rapid deployment within the automotive, wind turbine and compressed gas storage industries.

The new Institute, announced today by President Obama, will focus on advanced fiber-reinforced polymer composites that combine strong fibers with tough plastics to yield materials that are lighter and stronger than steel.

While advanced composites are used in selective industries such as aircraft, satellites and cars, these materials remain expensive, require large amounts of energy to manufacture and are difficult to recycle. IACMI is dedicated to overcoming these barriers by developing low-cost, high-production, energy-efficient manufacturing and recycling processes for composites applications.

“As part of ongoing commitment to the U.S. market, Volkswagen Group of America is proud to dedicate our vast technological resources and automotive manufacturing expertise to help IACMI expand the American workforce and overcome current barriers to the use of advanced composite materials,” said Matthias Erb, Executive Vice President, Engineering & Planning, Volkswagen Group of America. “We will work with a variety of public and private partners to ultimately create jobs and boost global manufacturing competitiveness.”

IACMI is the fifth named Institute and another important step toward fulfilling the President’s vision of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). The public-private partnership was selected through a competitive process led by the Advanced Manufacturing Office within the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The DOE Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute’s award is supported by a $70 million Federal commitment over five years combined with an equal or greater amount in non-federal resources.

“We brought together unprecedented commitment from state governments, industry and research institutions committed to leveraging their resources and technology to develop a workforce, create jobs and increase global manufacturing competitiveness in the rapidly growing use of advanced polymer composites,” said IACMI Chief Executive Officer Dr. Craig Blue.

Volkswagen is part of the 122-member team led by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a consortium connecting the world’s leading manufacturers across the supply chain with universities and national laboratories pioneering advanced composites technology development and research.

IACMI includes founding partners in Tennessee (University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory), Colorado (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), Indiana (Purdue University), Michigan (Michigan State University), Ohio (University of Dayton Research Institute) and Kentucky (University of Kentucky).

The six partner states and members, including Volkswagen and more than 90 other companies across the supply chain, have committed to $189 million in additional contributions to the Institute.

For more information, please visit the IACMI website at http://iacmi.org/ or click here for the White House fact sheet on the Initiative.