CLEVELAND, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- With a focus on how strategic materials can better protect the nation's defense supply chain and enhance manufacturing in America's Metals Heartland, the Defense Metals Technology Center (DMTC) will host its Second Annual Strategic Materials Conference on February 1 and 2.
Invited to the conference at the Intercontinental Hotel at the Cleveland Clinic is a cross-section of government, business, and academic leaders from around the world, as well as elected federal officials.
Last year's Conference drew more than 100 participants from across the United States and as far away as Norway.
"Building on the success of the 2009 inaugural Conference, this year's forum will address the critical issue of how our nation can preserve the supply of strategic materials needed for armaments to safeguard the lives of our service members," says Charles D. Clark, Executive Director of the DMTC, a U.S. Army Center of Excellence.
Two related Centers of Excellence – the National Center for Defense, Machining, and Manufacturing of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and DSN Innovations of Pittsburgh – are co-sponsoring the Conference.
In 2007, Congress funded the creation of the DMTC to coordinate academic, government, and industrial entities involved with highly specialized strategic materials.
The DMTC is headquartered in North Canton, Ohio – in the middle of what it loosely defines as America's Metals Heartland – Ohio, Pennsylvania, eastern Indiana, southeast Michigan, northern Kentucky, and northern West Virginia. "This is where the nation's metals industry has traditionally been strongest," says Clark.
Clark points out that economic globalization has led to a significant increase in the defense supplier base, particularly from abroad. Accordingly, there is a growing concern in defense circles that specialty metals used in military applications – such as titanium – come too frequently from countries that compete with the United States, mainly Russia and China.
"The Conference will address how to make America's specialty metals industry more competitive with foreign suppliers," says Clark. "At the same time, it will ascertain how American companies can be more competitive abroad."
Clark says that suppliers of materials needed by the military are encouraged to attend. "This Conference will also call attention to the opportunities for metals' manufacturers in Ohio and nearby states," he says.
The Conference will begin with a lunch, followed by a tour of the ArcelorMittal steelworks in Cleveland, one of the largest steel mills in the world. Attendees will receive a firsthand look at the facility's blast furnace, steel shop, casting process, and hot strip mill.
The agenda for the second day includes panels of speakers on rare earth metals and titanium and an update on government activity related to strategic materials.
For more information about the Conference, including registration, visit www.defensemetals.org.
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SOURCE Defense Metals Technology Center