Obama administration launches competition for three new manufacturing institutes

Program calls for federal commitment of $200 million across five federal agencies.
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
June 05, 2013 - MMH Editorial

The Obama Administration recently announced that it is launching competitions to create three new manufacturing innovation institutes with a Federal commitment of $200 million across five Federal agencies – Defense, Energy, Commerce, NASA, and the National Science Foundation.

The manufacturing innovation institutes will be partnerships between public universities and private companies. Last year the Obama administration established a manufacturing institute with dozens of academic and private sector members in Youngstown, Ohio. This effort builds off that pilot institute.

Each institute would serve as a regional hub designed to bridge the gap between basic research and product development, bringing together companies, universities and community colleges, and Federal agencies to co-invest in technology areas that encourage investment and production in the U.S. This type of innovation infrastructure provides a unique ‘teaching factory’ that allows for education and training of students and workers at all levels, while providing the shared assets to help companies, most importantly small manufacturers, access the cutting-edge capabilities and equipment to design, test, and pilot new products and manufacturing processes.

The Department of Defense will lead two of the new Institutes, focused on “Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation (DMDI)” (DMDI RFI) and “Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing (LM31)” (LM31 RFI) and the Department of Energy will be leading one new institute on “Next Generation Power Electronics Manufacturing.”

All three institutes will be selected through an open, competitive process, led by the Departments of Energy and Defense, with review from a multi-agency team of technical experts. Winning teams will be selected and announced later this year. Federal funds will be matched by industry co-investment, support from state and local governments, and other sources. Like the pilot institute, these Institutes are expected to become financially self-sustaining, and the plan to achieve this objective will be a critical evaluation criterion in the selection process. DOD and DOE are opening the competition for the three new institutes immediately.

The President said he will continue to call on Congress to act on his proposal for a one-time $1 billion investment to create a network of 15 manufacturing innovation institutes across the country.



Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Disruptions at West Coast ports, which were resolved at the end of February, may have distorted the numbers

Growth firmly remains in the cards for both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors in 2015. That was the main takeaway from the December 2014 Semiannual Economic Forecast from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), which, in many ways, picked up where its companion Spring 2014 report published last April left off.

First quarter revenue of $1.776 billion was down 4.8 percent annually but up 4.6 percent in constant currency. And adjusted EBITDA at $51 million saw an 18.6 percent annual gain, with a 23.3 percent increase in constant currency.

Heading into 2015, the intermodal sector was faced with the same challenges it had exiting 2014, namely the West Coast port labor disruption and harsh winter weather. But even with these obstacles volumes still managed to show overall growth on an annual basis, according to the most recent edition of the Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics Report from the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA).

Forget cost cutting. Innovation and sustainability are the most important factors in business today. The companies that get it right can still win in a flat economy, says ISM CEO Tom Derry.

Article Topics

News · Technology · Education · Manufacturing · All topics

About the Author

Josh Bond, Associate Editor
Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce. Contact Josh Bond

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.