The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released details of the $2.08 million it has awarded to seven organizations in six states to develop manufacturing technology roadmaps to strengthen U.S. innovation and productivity across entire industry sectors. This announcement represents the second round of grants awarded to universities, industry and nonprofit organizations via NIST’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Roadmap Program (MfgTech).
Each award of up to $300,000 has been made to 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 also revealed that it 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 U.S.,” declared 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 seek to engage stakeholders in industry and academia with the objective of identifying and prioritizing research projects that reduce barriers to the growth of advanced manufacturing in the U.S. 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)
The project will develop a comprehensive U.S. 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)
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)
The award will be used to develop a roadmap to guide the construction manufacturing sector in adoption of advanced technologies such as additive manufacturing, robotics, automation and artificial intelligence for improved productivity, efficiency, flexibility and safety.
Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio)
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, California)
The funding will support a Quantum Technology Manufacturing Roadmap that identifies pre-competitive development and supply chain gaps to help maintain U.S. dominance in quantum-related fields to benefit multiple quantum technology application areas.
University of New Hampshire (Durham, New Hampshire)
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 U.S. leadership in space, economic growth and national defense.
International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative Inc. (Morrisville, North Carolina)
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 U.S. wireless networks.