GAITHERSBURG, Md. — The US Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded a total of $2.08 million to seven organizations in six states to develop manufacturing technology roadmaps to strengthen US innovation and productivity across entire industry sectors. This is the second round of grants awarded to universities, industry and nonprofit organizations through NIST’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Roadmap Program (MfgTech).
Each award of up to $300,000 will fund projects for up to 18 months to address national priorities such as manufacturing of critical infrastructure, communication, and transformative approaches and technologies in construction. NIST plans to make additional awards under different categories.
“This new round of awards enables strategic partnerships across the country that will identify and document ways to accelerate the adoption of critical manufacturing technologies in the US,” said Mike Molnar, director of the NIST Office of Advanced Manufacturing. “The roadmaps are in key areas for the manufacturing industry and the nation, including infrastructure, quantum, artificial intelligence and machine learning, 5G, sustainability, and even manufacturing in space.”
Each consortium will engage stakeholders in industry and academia to identify and prioritize research projects that reduce barriers to the growth of advanced manufacturing in the US The resulting roadmaps will identify and rank research and development goals; address workforce skills gaps; promote diversity, equity and inclusion in manufacturing; and identify steps to speed technology development and transfer to improve manufacturing competitiveness.
The lead recipients and their projects are:
Edison Welding Institute Inc. (Columbus, Ohio) — $300,000
The project will develop a comprehensive US roadmap to accelerate fabrication of large structures such as bridges, wind towers, pipelines and ships. The roadmap will focus on increasing flexibility and energy efficiency, and lowering costs, by deploying advanced materials, large-scale additive manufacturing and other technologies.
University of Houston (Houston, Texas) — $300,000
This roadmap will identify manufacturing challenges and technology barriers associated with various platform technologies such as superconductors and advanced structural materials to accelerate the commercialization of future carbon-neutral electric machines and systems.
ASTM International (West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania) — $299,989
The award will be used to develop a roadmap to guide the construction manufacturing sector in adopting advanced technologies such as additive manufacturing, robotics, automation and artificial intelligence for improved productivity, efficiency, flexibility and safety.
Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio) — $299,745
The awardee will develop a technology roadmap to integrate artificial intelligence and machine learning tools with traditional material science and manufacturing process knowledge over the full product life cycle for a comprehensive approach to future manufacturing of advanced materials.
SRI International (Menlo Park, Calif.) — $299,128
The funding will support a Quantum Technology Manufacturing Roadmap that identifies pre-competitive development and supply chain gaps to help maintain US dominance in quantum-related fields to benefit multiple quantum technology application areas.
University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH) — $297,877
This roadmap will explore a new paradigm in manufacturing for the equitable commercialization, industrialization and democratization of manufacturing in space. To create the roadmap, the awardee will analyze barriers to commercializing a space-based manufacturing economy, recommend solutions, and develop guides that will help strengthen US leadership in space, economic growth, and national defense.
International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative Inc. (Morrisville, North Carolina) — $290,865
The funds will support a roadmap for advancing the manufacturing of leading-edge 5G and 6G products to accelerate the development of the next generation of US wireless networks.