CHICAGO (AP) — Mayor Emanuel is touting new federal money that he says will make Chicago a digital manufacturing hub, reports WBBM’s Nancy Harty.

With $70 million from the Department of Defense, Chicago can become the Silicon Valley of digital manufacturing.

“This research capacity, but it is not just research, allows us to be the center of the new digital manufacturing that is basically the next generation,” said Emanuel.

Senator Dick Durbin says the President’s home state was not a slam dunk for the grant.

“We had to over perform to make sure that it was not only a good grab but the best, so the President and the White House and everybody involved could look at it with a straight face and say, ‘Of course it is Illinois,’” said Durbin.

The head of UI Labs says the digital manufacturing and design innovation institute will help companies bring together research, develop and demonstrate new ideas in manufacturing.

In addition to the $70 million from the Defense Department, $250 million in public and private sector matching grants will go toward the Chicago hub.

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