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Deere to play sizable part of White House initiative

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A White House initiative includes the efforts of John Deere & Co.
A White House initiative includes the efforts of John Deere & Co.

The White House announced an initiative that involves John Deere and its small and mid-sized partners in the Midwest, according to a published report.

The world's biggest manufacturer of farm equipment will use supercomputers to hasten component design, which also involves Lockheed Martin and General Electric. The White House announced the initiative on Wednesday. The partners, which are suppliers, assist with production and delivery of equipment including John Deere disc plows, John Deere commercial mowers and John Deere disc harrows, which farmers can purchase at their local John Deere dealership.

"This is going to change the game in how third-millennium manufacturing is done," said Deborah Wince-Smith, president and chief executive officer of the Council on Competitiveness of Washington, D.C.

Called the National Digital Engineering and Manufacturing Consortium, the initiative will make use of supercomputers at the University of Illinois, Argonne National Laboratory and other locations.

Deere's chair and chief executive officer, Samuel Allen, also chairs the Council of Competitiveness. That council consists of chief executive officers, university presidents and labor leaders.

Officials with the Obama Administration say the new initiative is a "watershed" and "milestone" event that will see grants go to firms in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

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