- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 24, 2015

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Purdue University is starting construction on a new research facility aimed at developing energy-efficient materials.

State and local officials joined university leaders in a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for the Indiana Manufacturing Institute at the Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette.

Purdue officials say the $50 million project will support research focusing on development of lighter-weight composite materials that can be used in aerospace, aviation, automotive, energy and sporting equipment.

The new 62,000-square-foot facility is expected to open in the middle of next year, with the space split between university and private researchers. About $35 million for research equipment and materials in the institute will come from a project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and private industries.

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