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NIST Awards Funding to Strengthen Advanced Manufacturing

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded a total of $1.2 million to four organizations to develop technology roadmaps aimed at strengthening U.S. manufacturing and innovation across industries. The projects span a wide variety of industries and technologies, from microelectronics to biomanufacturing to building a resilient U.S. manufacturing supply chain.

The grants, awarded to universities, a nonprofit and a consortium, are the first conferred by NIST’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Roadmap Program (MfgTech). The individual awards of up to $300,000 will fund projects for a period of up to 18 months to address national priorities for microelectronics competitiveness and vaccine manufacturing capabilities. NIST plans to make additional awards under different categories.

“The MfgTech awards build collaborative partnerships to set strategic technology objectives and develop a shared vision of how an industry can achieve transformational goals,” said NIST Office of Advanced Manufacturing Director Mike Molnar. “These grants will enable 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 United States.”

Industry-driven technology roadmapping is a key component of all funded projects. Each consortium will engage manufacturers of all sizes, university researchers, trade associations and other stakeholders to identify and prioritize research projects that reduce shared barriers to the growth of advanced manufacturing in the U.S.

Awardees will use the roadmaps to identify and rank research and development goals, define workforce needs, and initiate other steps toward speeding technology development and transfer and improving manufacturing capabilities.

One recipient, The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Virginia, the funding will be used to develop a technology roadmap to improve the resilience and capacity of the U.S. manufacturing supply chain by identifying critical weaknesses and gaps in digital thread technology which allows digital design, manufacturing and product support throughout the extended supply chain.

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