The University of Kentucky is a strategic partner in a new nonprofit to foster innovation in Kentucky’s expanding metals industry. UK Innovate’s UK Innovation Connect Executive Director Mr Landon Borders said “We see MI2 as a real win for Kentucky and one of our top industries in the Commonwealth. It is truly special to have leaders from our top metals companies, our state government and our academic institutions come together to tackle the most challenging problems and grow together.”MI2 CEO Mr Vijay Kamineni said “Kentucky already has a thriving metals industry in materials like steel, aluminum and copper. And we have colleges and universities, workforce development organizations and economic development entities all interested in putting their time, effort and resources toward further growing innovation in that thriving industry to create more opportunities for Kentuckians. MI2 provides the platform to promote collaboration across all those organizations.”UK experts will be part of five working groups: branding, grants and funding, sustainability and talent, workforce, and strategy and structure. Borders will represent UK in the strategy and structure working group. The other groups will work to enhance public perception of the metals industry, obtain grants to attract and promote research, foster collaborations among MI2 members to create industry sustainability and start initiatives to recruit, retain and enhance talents. Each working group is chaired by a metals industry leader and is composed of collaborators throughout Kentucky’s innovation ecosystem.The Metals Innovation Initiative MI2 is a Kentucky-based nonprofit that provides collaborative, industry-led executive leadership to attract and promote advanced research, sustainability, commercialization and talent development in the Commonwealth’s metals industry. MI2 launched as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in September 2022 with a two-day summit of industry executives, higher education leaders, government officials and other support organizations, held at Western Kentucky University, where MI2 is headquartered.MI2’s founding metals industry platinum members are Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products, Logan Aluminum, North American Stainless, Novelis, Nucor, River Metals Recycling, Tri-Arrows Aluminum and Wieland.