The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced a new competition for awards to support industry-driven consortia in developing technology roadmaps that will address high-priority research challenges to grow the advanced manufacturing sector in the U.S.
NIST’s Manufacturing USA Technology Roadmaps (MfgTech) program anticipates awarding up to eight awards with a period of performance of up to 18 months each, with individual awards of up to $300,000 and no cost-share requirement. The competition is open to all nonfederal U.S. entities, including accredited institutions of higher education; nonprofit organizations; for-profit organizations incorporated in the U.S. (including U.S. territories); and state, local, territorial and tribal governments.
Technology roadmaps are proven, strategic tools to identify barriers and related development steps to achieve grand challenges. Prior roadmap activities have been instrumental in establishing productive consortia and initiatives, including foundational planning for future Manufacturing USA institutes.
Benefits of technology roadmaps include:
- Addressing major technological barriers that inhibit the growth of advanced manufacturing in the U.S. that no single organization could tackle on its own;
- Identifying and prioritizing research projects supporting long-term industrial research needs including but not limited to those identified in the Strategy for American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing;
- Creating new or updating broadly available industry-driven, shared-vision technology roadmaps to support strategic and long-range planning; and
- Catalyzing development and supporting the maintenance of a technology infrastructure and American excellence in advanced manufacturing, including identifying technology areas appropriate for potential new Manufacturing USA institutes.
“The Manufacturing USA institutes have demonstrated that consortia can play a key role in developing and transitioning new manufacturing technologies critical to America’s future competitiveness,” said Mike Molnar, director of NIST’s Office of Advanced Manufacturing. “These roadmaps can help ensure that we have a clear vision of what challenges are before us to ensure U.S. manufacturing is competitive.”
Organizations that submit MfgTech proposals are encouraged to develop partnerships across an industry ecosystem to bring together expertise in facilities, supply chain, or specialized goods and services to produce a valuable roadmap that takes all of these elements into consideration.
Proposals are due by Aug. 16, 2021. Details about the competition, including eligibility, selection criteria, legal requirements and the mechanism for submitting proposals are found in the Notice of Federal Funding Opportunity posted at Grants.gov under funding opportunity number 2021-NIST-MfgTech-01.
NIST will host a webinar on June 25 at 2 p.m. EST to share more information on the program and preparing proposals. For more about webinar details, including how to register, visit https://www.nist.gov/oam/manufacturing-usa-technology-roadmap-mfgtech-program.
The Manufacturing USA institutes and their sponsors — the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Defense or Energy — connect more than 2,000 organizations across hundreds of major projects to quickly move technology from laboratory prototypes to industrial capabilities and provide thousands of people with advanced manufacturing knowledge and skills. For more information, visit www.ManufacturingUSA.com or www.NIST.gov.