NAMII Announcement Event, M7 Technologies, Youngstown Ohio -— Courtesy NCDMM
Frank Kendall III (Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics) along with Dr. Rebecca Blank (Acting Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Secretary of Commerce) and Gene Sperling (Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy) today announced the NCDMM was selected to manage the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), the pilot institute for the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI).
In March 2012, President Obama announced the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), with up to fifteen Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation located around the country. These institutes will bring together industry, universities and community colleges, federal agencies, and the states to accelerate innovation by investing in industrially relevant manufacturing technologies with broad applications.
Each Institute will bridge the gap between basic research and product development, provide shared assets to help companies – particularly small manufacturers – access cutting-edge capabilities and equipment, and create an unparalleled environment to educate and train students and workers in advanced manufacturing skills. These Institutes will serve as regional hubs of manufacturing innovation, and will be known as world-class centers for applied research, technology incubation, and commercialization.
In addition, President Obama announced that immediate steps be taken to launch a pilot institute which will serve as a proof-of concept for the NNMI Institutes. To answer this call to action as part of the Administration’s We Can’t Wait efforts, an inter-agency team of technical experts was convened. The collaborative inter-agency team determined that the topic of Additive Manufacturing would garnish the most benefit for the defense, energy, space and commercial sectors of the nation and should be the area of concentration of the pilot institute. Additive Manufacturing, also commonly known as 3D printing, is an emerging and evolving manufacturing process that builds parts made of metal, plastic, ceramic and electronic parts using a layer-by-layer technique, precisely placing material as directed by a 3D digital file.
A competition for the pilot institute was launched through a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) in May. This BAA stipulated the proposals address criteria such as technical vision and scope, example collaborative applied research projects, technology transition plans, institute management and infrastructure, educational outreach and workforce development, and plans for sustainability of the institute.
Proposal evaluations were led by an inter-agency advisory council of technical experts from the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Energy (DOE), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Based on the evaluation process stated within the BAA, the advisory council selected the NCDMM to manage the pilot institute. This public-private partnership between NCDMM and the Government will be awarded as a cooperative agreement using $30M of federal funding and an additional $39M provided as cost share, mostly from industry and the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
The NCDMM led proposal team which will form the nucleus of the NAMII organization and governance board, consists of numerous leading universities, community colleges, large and small manufacturers and economic development groups principally from the Western Pennsylvania, Northeast Ohio and Northern West Virginia region. This I-80/I-79 corridor with nearly 32,000 manufacturers, commonly known as the “TechBelt,” represents a smaller geographic area but larger manufacturing output with more combined average production workers per year (1.01 million) than the two largest manufacturing states (TX, CA).
Specific organizations on the NCDMM Team include:
Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Robert Morris University, Robert C. Bird Institute at Marshall University, Penn State Applied Research Laboratory, Lehigh University, Case Western Reserve University, Youngstown State University, University of Akron, Kent State, Westmoreland County Community College, Lorain County Community College, ExOne, Optomec, Stratasys, Sciaky, 3D Systems, nScript, Paramount Technologies, Morris Technologies, Thogus/RM&P, M7 Technologies, Autodesk, IBM, Timken, Kennametal, ATI, RTI, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, General Dynamics, Honeywell, Osram Sylvania, FMW Composite Systems, Touchstone, Parker Hannifin, Ohio Aerospace Institute, Association for Manufacturing Technology, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, NorTech, Youngstown Business Incubator, Fourth Economy, Wohlers Associates, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Oxford Performance Materials, JumpStart, numerous TechBelt small manufacturers and the Manufacturing Extension Partnerships of Ohio and PA.
“We are honored to be chosen to lead this significant effort and we look forward to addressing the challenge set forth by President Obama to help revitalize our nation’s manufacturing industry,” said Ralph Resnick, NCDMM President and Executive Director and Acting Director for NAMII, “NCDMM feels privileged to be part of such a high quality and comprehensive collaborative team.
"There was keen competition for the Institute from other high quality teams and we will be reaching out to these other national assets to assist our core team in meeting the mission of NAMII.” Mr. Resnick went on to say, ““For nearly a decade NCDMM has been delivering manufacturing innovation to the U.S. Defense Industry and we are enthusiastic about applying our successful, self sustaining model to the NAMII.”