WASHINGTON, DC (Edmunds Auto Observer)-The Obama administration announced today a new $500-million program to nurture new-age advances in manufacturing technologies and processes aimed at reinforcing the nation’s manufacturing sector. Ford Motor Co. is one of 11 large companies that will join with universities in the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership to “focus on investments in such areas as information technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology to help reduce manufacturing costs, boost quality and speed product development,” Bloomberg reported. The manufacturing partnership was recommended by the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology.

The initiative will draw funds from currently submitted proposals and existing programs in the federal government. “Our goal is to use the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership to help make breakthroughs for the next decade and the decade ahead,” Ron Bloom, President Obama’s manufacturing advisor, says. Some $300 million is earmarked to develop advanced batteries and composites and new-age metal fabrication and biomanufacturing techniques. The AMP will direct $100 million toward nanotechnology research aimed at manufacturing, renewable energy and national security, $70 million for robotics research and $120 million to study how manufacturing processes can use less energy.