- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa’s three public universities and one of its largest private employers are among the partners in a new consortium announced by President Obama to improve the nation’s manufacturing capabilities.

Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa are among the more than 70 organizations that will be part of the Digital Lab for Manufacturing, based in Chicago. Cedar Rapids-based Rockwell Collins is also a member.

The White House says the goal is to create a new partnership between manufacturers and software companies to develop new, cutting-edge capabilities to design, test and move products to market. One goal is to cut acquisition costs for the Department of Defense, which is supplying the initial government funding of $70 million. Outside entities have pledged another $250 million.

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