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Ohio Automotive Industry Moves Toward Lighter, Cleaner Cars

Ohio’s composites industry is getting some investment in hopes that research will give domestic car makers the technology to build lightweight cars that take alternative, cleaner fuel.

The investment comes from a partnership between JobsOhio, the state’s non-profit corporation aimed at wooing outside businesses to bring jobs and money to Ohio, and Tennessee’s Institute of Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), a group working to grow the nation’s composites industry.

Composites and carbon fiber are most relevant to Ohio in the automotive sector, but drive several other industries, including aerospace, chemicals and energy. While Ohio leads the United States in the automotive industry, second only to Michigan, domestic automotive manufacturers are behind the rest of the world when it comes to building tanks that can store natural gas.

“The specific portion of IACMI work to take place in Ohio will be led by the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) and feature full-scale manufacturing work cells in addition to supporting small business incubation and workforce development in partnership with Sinclair Community College,” according to the press release.

Brian Rice, Division Head for Multi-Scale Composites and Polymers at UDRI, said research will be focused on “developing light-weight materials that can be used to reduce the energy footprint in our nation.”

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