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IUPUI receives grant from Walmart to help spur American manufacturing


INDIANAPOLIS, IN– Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis was awarded a Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund from Walmart, the Walmart Foundation and the United States Conference of Mayors.

The announcement came Thursday at the 2014 U.S. Manufacturing Summit in Denver, where seven leading research and development institutions were awarded $4 million in grants to create new processes, ideas and jobs that will foster America’s growing manufacturing footprint.

“Researchers at many of America’s best universities are hard at work on tough manufacturing challenges,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation. “We are excited to support the development of innovative solutions, which we hope will unlock new opportunity for manufacturing in this country.” 

The $291,202 grant was awarded in support of IUPUI’s research project, “Optimal Plastic Injection Molding Tooling Design and Production through Advanced Additive Manufacturing,” for two years (2014-16). The project’s goal is to reduce the cost and increase the performance and versatility of U.S.-manufactured plastic injection tooling through experimentally supported, multiscale, thermo-mechanical topology optimization methods and metal additive manufacturing (3-D printing).

Additive manufacturing allows for complex injection tooling production but is about 50 percent more expensive than traditional machining. The project’s proposed optimization approach leads to the generation of lightweight, high-performance and cost-effective injection tooling through additive manufacturing. A 30 percent cost reduction and a 20 percent performance increase are expected with the optimized design. The IUPUI research team is composed of professors Andrés Tovar, principal investigator, Hazim El-Mounayri, Jing Zhang, Doug Acheson and Razi Nalim.

“I’m delighted that this important research project was recognized with a Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund grant,” said David J. Russomanno, dean of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI.  “We have world-class faculty in the area of advanced manufacturing. Their expertise will be applied to overcome some of the impediments to growing consumer goods manufacturing in Indiana and across the entire United States.”

“This year’s grant recipients represent the ingenuity and inventive thinking that could ultimately unlock the full potential of manufacturing in the U.S.,” said Cindi Marsiglio, Walmart vice president of U.S. sourcing and manufacturing. “We’re thrilled the Walmart Foundation is supporting the efforts of IUPUI to transform the processes that will ultimately drive resurgence in American manufacturing.”

The fund, which focuses on the development of domestic manufacturing with a specific goal of advancing the production or assembly of consumer products in the U.S., will provide a total of $10 million in grants over the next five years. This year’s grant recipients were selected for their ability to address two key areas that currently present barriers to increased domestic manufacturing:

  • Reducing the cost of textiles manufacturing, including home textiles and apparel, in the U.S. by addressing obstacles throughout production.


  • Improving common manufacturing processes with broad application to many types of consumer products.

“We are so pleased that our organization has pursued this partnership with the Walmart Foundation to spur job creation in America’s cities,” said U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran. “Manufacturing is coming back to this country, and the nation’s mayors want to support that wherever possible.”

“Indy is outpacing other cities as a leader in the high-tech and research industries,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. “The success of anchor institutions like IUPUI is vital to the city’s future. Their research project will play a role in attracting talent and employers to Indy for years to come.”

The Innovation Fund is another milestone in Walmart’s broader commitment to help revitalize U.S.-based manufacturing. In January 2013, Walmart announced the retailer would buy an additional $250 billion in products supporting American manufacturing and American jobs by 2023.

Together, these commitments represent a significant investment that will help accelerate the pace of U.S. manufacturing growth. By making production in the U.S. more cost effective and efficient, the global retailer believes it can bring its customers an increasing number of American-made products and ultimately create more jobs in communities across the country.


About Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Known as Indiana’s premier urban research and health sciences campus, IUPUI is dedicated to advancing the intellectual growth of the state of Indiana and its citizens through research and creative activity, teaching, learning and civic engagement. Nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and other notable publications, IUPUI has more than 30,000 students enrolled in 21 schools, which offer more than 250 degrees. IUPUI awards degrees from both Indiana and Purdue Universities. For more information, visit

About the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI:
The mission of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI is to be one of the best urban university leaders in the disciplines of engineering and technology recognized locally, nationally and internationally. The school’s goal is to provide students an education that will give them the leverage to be leaders in their communities, industry and society. For additional information on the School of Engineering and Technology, go to


About Walmart 

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. helps people around the world save money and live better — anytime and anywhere — in retail stores, online and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 245 million customers and members visit our almost 11,000 stores under 71 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2014 sales of over $473 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting on Facebook at and on Twitter at Online merchandise sales are available at and  


About Philanthropy at Walmart 

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief & Healthy Eating, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women’s Economic Empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Walmart has donated more than 1 billion meals to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit

About The U.S. Conference of Mayors
The United States Conference of Mayors is the official non-partisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are nearly 1,400 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. The primary roles of the Conference are to promote the development of effective national urban/suburban policy; strengthen federal-city relationships; ensure that federal policy meets urban needs; provide mayors with leadership and management tools; and create a forum in which mayors can share ideas and information.