Earlier support from the Quinn Administration was essential to the launch of DMDI. In March 2013, Governor Quinn approved the investment of $60 million in Blue Waters at the University of Illinois, which provides the supercomputing power for this initiative.
The Governor personally petitioned the Secretary of Defense twice and made the case to key White House officials about the benefits and importance of DMDI. The Governor brought key private sector partners into the initiative, including CAT, Deere & Company, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and many more.
Last December, the Governor joined UI Labs in announcing $5 million in state funding to support the Illinois Manufacturing Lab, a key first step in DMDI s development that helps small- to mid-sized manufacturers across the state.
Governor Quinn s administration - working with UI Labs and World Business Chicago - assembled the broad support for DMDI and directed the application for federal funding.
It is within these contexts--the one national, the other transnational--that we need to locate the establishment of DMDI in 2000 and to understand its aim to become the centre of the study and preservation of the history, literature, culture and art of the Malay Islamic world.
While no actual songket weavers participated in the DMDI Convention in Melaka in 2007, many of their products were taken in the form of samples that exemplified local Sambas designs.