About LIFT

LIFT, established under the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII) by the U.S. Department of Defense, focuses on developing and deploying advanced lightweight materials manufacturing technologies, and implementing education and training programs to prepare the workforce.

LIFT’s technical approach focuses on six pillars of technology:

  • (1) Melt processing
  • (2) Powder processing
  • (3) Themo-mechanical processing
  • (4) Novel/Agile processing
  • (5) Coatings
  • (6) Joining and assembly

For more information on membership, please visit here


May 5th - LIFT, today announced that it has partnered with Henry Ford College to provide advanced manufacturing training opportunities through the institute’s “Operation Next” program.

“Operation Next” is an innovative, self-paced, manufacturing-focused training and credentialing program, which blends hands-on learning with virtual learning available to employees of Detroit-area small and medium-sized manufacturers and displaced workers to help them recover from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is also open to members of the Michigan National Guard and Reserve and to civilians in the Detroit area, providing students the opportunity to earn industry recognized, nationally portable credentials for their next careers. Through funding provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and awarded to LIFT by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, as well as from a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense Manufacturing Engineering Education Program, training will be provided at no cost to the individual or their employer.

Read more and register here

April 12th - LIFT, in partnership with the Department of Defense, is preparing to issue a major hypersonics development challenge for the U.S. manufacturing industrial sector.

Operating at speeds of Mach 5 or higher, hypersonic and counter-hypersonic vehicles are among the Department of Defense’s top priorities, including developing a safe and secure domestic supply base.

The Hypersonics Challenge is a call for project proposals on three specific topics dealing with the materials and manufacture of hypersonic vehicles, including:

  • Hypersonics Modeling & Simulation, including Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME);

  • Advanced Manufacturing Methods for Quality and Production, and;

  • Advanced Manufacturing for High Temperature Composites.

Companies whose project challenge proposals are chosen will be provided up to $1 million for project development – not including cost-share, which is encouraged, but not required.

Read more about the project call here

 March 20th - LIFT, announced that one the institute’s innovation projects – to further develop and scale an ABS/ESC system and provide validation of quality retrofit installation on the HMMWV fleet – has been awarded a three-year, $89 million contract by the U.S. Army.

The initial project, completed in 2017, was funded and program managed by LIFT in collaboration with Ricardo Defense Systems, and led to the successful retrofitting of 10 Michigan National Guard vehicles with the optimized ABS/ESC system and making the kit available for purchase by military units worldwide.

Read more here

January 11th - LIFT has announced that Amatrol, the national leader in advanced manufacturing training equipment and interactive, multimedia e-learning courses, has joined LIFT as a Silver Member, expanding its long-term relationship with the institute.

Amatrol, based in Jeffersonville, Ind., designs, develops and manufactures technical training systems, highly interactive eLearning, hands-on simulators, and more to train tomorrow’s global manufacturing workforce.

Read more about the partnership here 

December 2nd - LIFT, the Detroit-based, Department of Defense-supported national manufacturing innovation institute, today announced its “Operation Next” advanced manufacturing certification program is being made available to members of the Michigan National Guard and Reserve at the institute’s facility in Corktown.

Operation Next is an innovative, self-paced, manufacturing-focused training and credentialing initiative, which blends hands-on and virtual learning. Michigan Guard and Reserve members are the first military group able to take part in the program since it completed its successful initial pilot for separating military personnel at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. Operation Next is currently expanding to additional military installations, providing training opportunities for military spouses, adding curriculum offerings, and opening the program to members of the Guard and Reserve, all with funding provided by the Department of Defense Manufacturing Engineering Education Program.

Learn more here

October 16th - LIFT will once again be offering the opportunity for U.S. manufacturers and other organizations to submit project ideas for funding through its Fast Forge program.

The “Fast Forge” program is designed to solicit exciting new project ideas connecting materials, processes and systems and develop those ideas on a shorter timeline.

Project ideas should align with LIFT’s main technology focus areas of:

  • Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) and Computational Engineering;

  • Advanced Alloy and Process Development;

  • Multi-Material Joining, and;

  • Applications of Additive, Metamorphic and Future Manufacturing.

Read more as well as obtain and submit your application by November 6th, 2020 here

August 21st - LIFT, announced today that it has expanded its Detroit team by hiring Addie Stone-Richards as the institute’s Director of Member Engagement.

In this role, Stone-Richards will work with LIFT members to help them utilize the institute’s ecosystem to further develop, optimize and commercialize their innovations. She will also ensure that each LIFT industry member maximizes their membership benefits by keeping members closely connected to LIFT’s in-house experts and facilitating the activation of LIFT’s core offerings: trusted advisorship, convening, connecting, technology acceleration, technology showcasing, and training and workforce development.

Read More here

July 31st - LIFT, the Detroit-based Department of Defense-supported national manufacturing innovation institute announced this week that global management consulting firm Kearney has joined the institute as a platinum member and is supporting the institute’s objectives to create a national showcase for future manufacturing in Detroit.

Kearney is helping to inform LIFT on the latest technologies and to build a national showcase at its facility. As part of that national showcase, Kearney will be placing its Digital Model Factory in the LIFT facility to demonstrate the “art of the possible” in future manufacturing. The model factory is expected to be fully launched at LIFT before the end of the year.

Read more here

July 17th - LIFT, announced that it has signed an agreement with the United States Army to develop new technology programs to support initiatives relevant to the U.S. military. 

The Other Transactional Agreement (OTA) between LIFT and the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center (CCDC GVSC), located at Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Michigan, allows LIFT to deliver new technologies over the next five years. LIFT CEO and Executive Director Nigel Francis suggested, “Our core mission as an institute is to develop technologies to enhance the effectiveness and better protect the warfighter, and this agreement gives us the opportunity to continue that mission for years,”

Read more about the agreement here

July 3rd - LIFT, is ensuring Students still have a chance to continue their education and is directly working to enhance the distance learning offerings to Detroit, Michigan area Students. LIFT, in support of the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, are distributing three differing kits to local students, keeping them learning and engaged in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities as schools remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more about this initiative here