Utah's Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Initiative
Utah Advanced Materials Initiative Chooses New Director
Jeff Edwards to serve as the new Executive Director for UAMMI (Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative) bringing an extensive background in technology and economic development in the state
KAYSVILLE, UTAH - January 17, 2017 - Today, the Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI) announced the selection of Jeffery B. Edwards as its new Executive Director. UAMMI’s purpose is to accelerate the growth of the advanced materials industry in Utah by connecting industry with academic research, enhancing the supply chain and assisting in workforce development. He began work in the new post on January 2, 2017.
UAMMI was recently established as a non-profit corporation and is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of board members from industry, government, education and research communities. Edwards will follow Founding Director Dr. Greg Jones, Associate Director of the Scientific Computing and Imaging (SCI) Institute at the University of Utah, who helped establish UAMMI in 2013.
Mr. Edwards has an extensive background in technology and economic development. He served as President & CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah) for 15 years. During his tenure, EDCUtah helped to bring into the state more than 80,000 new jobs and nearly $3B in new capital investment. As part of that assignment, he worked closely with the aerospace and defense companies to promote Utah as a prime destination for the advanced materials industry. Before joining EDCUtah, he spent the majority of his career in the aerospace and computer industries in both technical and marketing roles. He holds a BA degree from the University of Utah in Chemistry.
“The board is very pleased with the selection of Mr. Edwards from among a pool of very qualified candidates. We feel that he brings a great blend of directly applicable experience and knowledge to the job,” said Darin Friess, Director of Engineering for Albany Engineered Composites and Chairman of the UAMMI board.
“UAMMI and its partners are launching the development of a supply chain tool for the advanced materials industry and looking at new ways Utah can gain footholds into the global advanced materials market. Jeff is the perfect choice for rallying the industry to accomplish these major goals,” said Greg Jones, Founding Director of UAMMI.
“Jeff’s experience in economic development and his many industry relationships will be invaluable in moving UAMMI ahead,” said Val Hale, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Vice Chair of the UAMMI board.
“Over the last decade, Utah has had much success in growing our aerospace and outdoor recreation industries,” said Jeff Edwards, new UAMMI Executive Director. “These industries get their competitive advantage through the use of advanced materials and manufacturing techniques, many of which have been developed right here in our state. UAMMI’s mission is to promote this advantage of ‘home-grown' expertise from our industries and universities.”
The Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI) brings together public, private, community, industry and education partners to assure growth and sustainability of some of Utah’s most important manufacturing clusters. Advanced materials are essential in Aerospace/Defense, Outdoor Products and Transportation Equipment. Advanced materials include composites such as carbon and glass fibers, ceramics and polymers that are made using advanced manufacturing techniques including 3D printing, filament winding, automated fiber placement, and automated tape laying. Utah has more than 50 years of history in the development and advancement of these materials and has a worldwide reputation as one of the leaders in this industry of the future.
While still in its early development, UAMMI has already been important to Utah’s competitiveness in advanced materials.
- Through UAMMI, Utah was selected by the US Department of Commerce as one of only a handful of communities across the country to be designated as manufacturing leaders in its Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) program. This program has facilitated collaboration between advanced materials and manufacturing communities across the country that are working together to solve common challenges in workforce, recycling, materials science and new markets.
- UAMMI has undertaken a project funded by the US Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment. Over $4 million in grant funds have been provided to assess and improve the complete supply chain for Utah’s defense-focused carbon composites and advanced materials industry in the most comprehensive and detailed work ever conducted. This will enable manufacturers to find local Utah companies with the expertise and equipment to supply their most demanding materials and manufacturing requirements. The end result is to make Utah’s advanced materials industry more globally competitive and capable of diversifying into new markets in which industry contracts can be secured and in-state jobs increased.
- In October 2016, UAMMI played an important role in a grant of $1.6M from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to determine the feasibility of using Utah coal to produce low cost carbon fiber. If successful, this program could create new jobs in rural communities in Utah that have been hard hit by the decline of the coal industry and provide a low cost material to help open new markets for Utah composite manufacturers.
For more information about UAMMI, please visit www.UAMMI.org
Jeff Edwards, UAMMI Executive Director
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