Nineteen grants were awarded today by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop technology roadmaps aimed at strengthening U.S. manufacturing and innovation performance across industries.
The grant recipients — universities and other nonprofits — are the first conferred by NIST’s new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia Program. Worth a total of $9 million, the grants range from $378,900 to $540,000 for a period of up to two years.
Launched in 2013, AMTech aims to promote partnerships between government, industry and academia to support efforts to meet the long-term research needs of U.S. industry. One goal is to enable new or bolster current industry-led tech consortia to identify and prioritize research projects that remove obstacles to the growth of advanced manufacturing.
The grant awards “provide incentives for partnerships to tackle the important jobs of planning, setting strategic manufacturing technology goals, and developing a shared vision of how to work collaboratively to get there,” NIST Director Patrick Gallagher said in a statement.
“These are essential first steps toward building the research infrastructure necessary to sustain a healthy, innovative advanced manufacturing sector—one that invents, demonstrates, prototypes and produces here, in the U.S,” he added.
The funded projects will determine research and development objectives, outline workforce needs and initiate other steps toward accelerating technology development and transfer and improving manufacturing capabilities. In addition, the focus will be on related tasks such as defining challenges specific to creating strong domestic supply chains and establishing skill-set requirements for an advanced manufacturing workforce.