Manufacturing: Research and Technologies
It’s clear that the government is working across a wide spectrum to help build the capabilities needed to support American manufacturers. Some agencies have very specific initiatives to help in this area.
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation (NSF) Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate supports research and education projects that (a) explore the foundations of computing and communication devices and their usage, (b) invent new computing and networking technologies and that explore new ways to make use of existing technologies and (c) explore the inter-related roles of people, computers, and information.
As an acquisition agency, the Department of Defense (DoD) programs span the entire spectrum of product development value chain from basic research to deployment/acquisition: Basic research (6.1) is funded through Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and research offices of Air Force (AFOSR), Army (ARO), and Navy (NRO): Applied research (6.2, 6.3) is funded through DARPA, Air force (AFRL), Army (ARL) and Navy research laboratories (NRL); Technology development, Systems demonstration (6.4) is also funded through DARPA and the laboratories. The ManTech program has Centers of Excellence that help to bridge the gap between technology invention and industrial applications, maturation of emerging manufacturing technologies, manufacturability and manufacturing process maturity. The mission of the Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III Program is to create assured, affordable, and commercially viable production capabilities and capacities for items essential for national defense.
Department of Energy
The Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) is the DOE-wide program working to develop and deploy new, energy-efficient technologies for manufacturing. Its Innovative Manufacturing Initiative seeks solutions to core technical problems facing an industry or group of industries, that, if solved hold the potential to produce large improvements in energy productivity, environmental performance, product yield, and economic benefits. AMO’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facilities (MDF) program seeks to create a collaborative, shared infrastructure around targeted technical areas that will develop, use, and promote energy efficient, rapid, flexible manufacturing technologies.
Department of Commerce
Department of Commerce (DOC) National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST): The Engineering Laboratory promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness in areas of critical national priority by anticipating and meeting the measurement science and standards needs for technology-intensive manufacturing, construction, and cyber-physical systems, including smart grid. The Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) works with small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers and provides a variety of services, from innovation strategies, process improvements, green manufacturing to develop new customers, and expand into new markets. DOC-Economic Development Administration (EDA) promotes innovation and competitiveness and encourages its partners around the country to develop initiatives that advance new ideas and creative approaches to address rapidly evolving economic conditions.
Federal research can be used to help drive innovation inside your business. Look at some of the research in manufacturing available today.
- DARPA iFAB; AVM (adaptive Vehicle Make)
- DOD Centers of Excellence
- DOE-Additive Manufacturing
- DOE-Sandia Manufacturing Science and Technology Center
- NIST Manufacturing Technologies
American businesses can also get funding for exploring areas of interest to the government. Try your hand at government research by submitting a proposal to one of the following calls.