President Obama's 2014 State of the Union pledge to create 15 manufacturing innovation institutes is under way as competitions for two R&D hubs were announced on December 11.

Each hub consists of a public-private partnership of institutions such as companies and universities that are chosen from a field of applicants, as well as a government agency sponsor.

The two new hubs will lead innovation in the areas of flexible electronic components and energy efficient manufacturing techniques, and are sponsored by the Departments of Defense and Energy, respectively. The hubs will receive over $290 million in investments.

These new centers are part of a broader effort to create links between research and manufacturing communities, and thereby build an environment conducive to domestic manufacturing (see previous policy coverage from August 2014) and accompany President Obama's ongoing efforts to strengthen and celebrate American manufacturing (see coverage of the National Manufacturing Day).

For application information, visit