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Manufacturing Policy Portal [beta]

Hosted by the Centre for Science, Technology & Innovation Policy (CSTI)

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Programmes & Initiatives

Programmes & Initiatives


There are many significant initiatives emerging to advance the government’s advanced manufacturing agenda, of which these are among the most significant:


Major AMNPO initiatives include:


Department and agency programmes and initiatives include:


One of the original AMP recommendations is the creation of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), and a report by the NSTC has described an approach for implementing and managing such a network.  This involves the creation of regional innovation hubs – public-private partnerships called Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation (IMIs) – intended to “accelerate development and adoption of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies for making new, globally competitive products”.  Each institute is intended to bring together innovative manufacturers, university engineering schools, community colleges, federal agencies, non-profits, and regional and state organisations to invest in manufacturing technologies.  In the budget for fiscal year 2014, the President proposed 15 IMIs to be funded by an investment of $1 billion.  The first four were initiated by executive order rather than congressional action, and while legislation is pending, the Obama Administration has carried on with building a manufacturing innovation network.  However, it is agreed that long-term public financing will be necessary if these institutes are to become self-sustaining.

A pilot institute, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, was created in Youngstown, Ohio, in 2012, and has by now received $50 million in federal funding. More institutes have since been revealed by President Obama in separateannouncements, with funding on the order of $70 million, investment which has been matched in each case by the institutes’ industry partners.  It is eventually envisaged that over the course of a decade there will be 45 IMIs around the country, which will likely necessitate investment from the federal government in excess of $3 billion (as a point of comparison, the National Science Foundation’s fiscal year 2014 budget was $7.172 billion, of which just over $150 million was committed to advanced manufacturing).


Other Key Actors and Initiatives in US Manufacturing Policy System


Department of Defense (DOD)

The Department of Defense (DOD) oversees a Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) program, through the office of Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy, (MIBP), which will set up two manufacturing innovation institutes to serve the Obama Administration’s national manufacturing agenda.  Various branches of the armed forces, for example, theArmy, the Navy, the Air Force, have their own particular ManTech programs, managed individually, some with budgets in excess of $50 million.  There are also ManTech programs run by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the Missile Defense Agency (MDA).  The office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) also oversees the Defense-Wide Manufacturing Science & Technology (DMS&T) ManTech Program, which focuses on cross-cutting defense manufacturing needs that are beyond the ability of a single service to address.  These various programs are coordinated through the auspices of theJoint Defense Manufacturing Technology Panel (JDMTP), which conducts joint program planning and develops joint strategies.


  • Army: “Army ManTech supports reduction in production risks and manufacturing costs throughout the weapons system life cycle. Investment portfolio areas include Ground Maneuver, Lethality, Air, Soldier/Squad, Command, Control, Communications & Intelligence, and Innovation Enablers”.
  • Navy: “Navy ManTech’s mission is to develop enabling manufacturing technology – new processes and equipment – for implementation on DoN weapon system production lines. This is achieved through seven Centers of Excellence, which provide technological expertise and facilitate the transfer of manufacturing technology”.
  • Air Force: “Air Force ManTech develops agile manufacturing technologies with a focus on flexible, low-rate production. Their strategic thrusts are moving manufacturing to the left, cradle-to-cradle digital thread for manufacturing, a responsive, integrated supply base, and factories of the future”.
  • DMS&T: “Defense-wide Manufacturing Science & Technology ManTech focuses on crosscutting defense manufacturing needs that are beyond a single service’s ability. Its investment areas include Advanced Electronics and Optics Manufacturing, Advanced Materials Manufacturing, Enterprise and Emerging Manufacturing, the Industrial Base Innovation Fund, and Manufacturing Innovation Institutes. The Industrial Base Innovation Fund makes investments addressing shortfalls, especially surge production and diminishing sources.”

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has its own manufacturing programs.  Furthermore, they have interests in developing technology, expertise and tools for in-theatre manufacturing as part of their Manufacturing Experimentation and Outreach Two (MENTOR2) program. 

Other DARPA advanced manufacturing programs, including those pending:


Department of Energy (DOE)

The AMO’s projects, which purport to fill the gap between lab-scale development and demonstration and scale-up, explore novel energy-efficient materials, innovative process technologies, and advanced energy technologies for a range of manufacturing industries.  Those include:

Development of advanced manufacturing process and materials technologies in order to transition scientific innovations into clean-energy manufacturing capabilities.

R&D in new manufacturing processes, simulation tools, and technologies with the goal of doubling net energy productivity, enabling rapid manufacture of energy-efficient, high-quality products at competitive cost. The process technology areas here are:

    • Reactions and Separations
    • High-Temperature Processing
    • Waste Heat Minimization and Recovery
    • Sustainable Manufacturing
  • Next Generation Materials

Innovative materials with increased functionality that can improve the energy productivity of U.S. manufacturing.

    • Thermal and Degradation Resistant Materials
    • Highly Functional, High-Performance Materials
    • Lower-Cost Materials for Energy Systems
  • Combined Heat and Power (for industry)

Combined heat and power (CHP)—sometimes called cogeneration—is an integrated set of technologies for the simultaneous, on-site production of electricity and heat.


Other DOE initiatives include:

“The Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) is a collabora­tive manufacturing community that provides affordable access to advanced physical and virtual tools for rapidly demonstrating new manufacturing technologies and optimising critical processes”. 

“The Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institutes are designed to focus on foundational technologies that are broadly applicable and pervasive in multiple industries and markets with potentially transformational technical and manufacturing productivity impact”.


National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST)

One of NIST’s initiatives is the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).  The MEP, built around manufacturing extension centres, is a nationwide network of 1,200 technical experts serving as advisors to typically small and mid-sized US manufacturers.  They provide manufacturers with expertise and services, assisting them with expanding into new markets, creating new products, providing access to technology, workplace development, and improving processes and business practices.  They also enable manufacturers to connect with government and trade associations, universities and research laboratories, etc.

Grants feature prominently in current initiatives.  In autumn 2013, NIST, as part of itsMeasurement Science for Advanced Manufacturing (MSAM) Cooperative Agreement Program, awarded two grants totalling $7.4 million to fund projects in additive manufacturing.  

In 2014, NIST awarded 19 advanced manufacturing technology planning grants totalling $9 million over two years to universities and other non-profit organisations as part of NIST’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) program, which is aimed at creating partnerships between US industry, academia, and government.  A further objective of AMTech is to identify and prioritise research projects that “reduce barriers to the growth of advanced manufacturing”.  Project collaborations encompass a wide variety of industries and technologies.  Technology roadmapping is an important element of all funded projects, which will also attempt to strengthen domestic supply chains and establish skill-set requirements for an advanced manufacturing workforce.  New competitions for advanced manufacturing planning awards are ongoing. 

The Engineering Laboratory Grant Program provides financial assistance consistent with the EL’s mission to support research in numerous fields. Advanced manufacturing technologies, guidelines, and services form a significant component of this program’s work.


National Science Foundation (NSF)

Much of the NSF’s advanced manufacturing initiatives are run through its Directorate for Engineering, which is also an active participant in the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership and the National Nanotechnology Initiative.

  • The Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation(CMMI) Division is one of the four research divisions in the Directorate for Engineering at the NSF.  CMMI is organized into four program clusters:
    • Advanced Manufacturing
    • Mechanics and Engineered Materials
    • Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructures
    • Systems Engineering and Design.

While the other programs also support some relevant manufacturing research, theAdvanced Manufacturing Cluster accounts for the majority of CMMI manufacturing efforts. The cluster funds fundamental research to enable advances in manufacturing across a wide range of size scales, and has particular emphases on the following manufacturing themes:

  • Design of Engineering Material Systems
  • Manufacturing Enterprise Systems
  • Manufacturing Machines and Equipment
  • Materials Engineering and Processing
  • NanoManufacturing

In response to the Administration’s Materials Genome Initiative (MGI), Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), and the National Robotics Initiative (NRI), the CEMMSS framework aims to integrate a number of science and engineering activities across the Foundation – breakthrough materials, advanced manufacturing, robotics, and cyber-physical systems.

CEMMSS is an NSF interdisciplinary program that includes investments by four NSF Directorates – Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), which leads the project, Biological Sciences (BIO), Mathematics and Physical Sciences (MPS) and Engineering (ENG).  The CEMMSS framework aims to integrate a number of activities across NSF – breakthrough materials, advanced manufacturing, robotics, and cyber-physical systems (CPS).  The goal is to discover, develop and produce new materials with unique properties and functionality, and to develop and deploy advanced manufacturing methods and strategies to turn static systems and processes into adaptive smart systems.

  • Engineering Research Centers (ERCs)

The National Science Foundation’s Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) are interdisciplinary centers that join academia, industry, and government in partnership to produce advances in engineered systems that could radically transform the practices and processes of current industries. There are currently 5 advanced manufacturing-focused ERCs:

  • Nanosystems ERC for Nanomanufacturing Systems for Mobile Computing and Mobile Energy Technologies (NASCENT)
  • ERC for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP)
  • Synthetic Biology ERC (SBERC)
  • ERC for Structured Organic Particulate Systems (C-SOPS)
  • Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC)
  • Advanced Technological Education

With an emphasis on two-year colleges, the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program focuses on the education of technicians for high-tech fields, including on manufacturing.


National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Within NASA, the Johnson Space Center investigates manufacturing technologies from the perspective of spacecraft maintenance while in space. 

NASA also has the National Center for Advanced Manufacturing (NCAM), located in New Orleans, Louisiana on NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility. NCAM is a partnership between NASA, the State of Louisiana, and The University of New Orleans, which leads a consortium of 7 Universities. The purpose of the partnership is to:

  • Address NASA's needs in research and technology development,
  • Build the technology base for manufacturing next generation launch vehicle systems.

Examples of other NASA projects/initiatives include:


Department of Labor (DOL) / Department of Education (ED)

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced several investments, including the following:

TAACCCT provides community colleges and other eligible institutions of higher education with funds to expand and improve their ability to deliver education and career training programs that can prepare program participants for employment in high-wage, high-skill occupations, while also meeting the needs of employers for skilled workers. The Department is implementing the TAACCCT program in partnership with the Department of Education.

The FY2014 budget request has a FY2015 program as follow-on to TAACCCT, a proposed Community College to Career Fund.

A strategic effort to prepare workers for high-growth, high-demand, and economically vital sectors of the American economy.

  • Work Information, Electronic Tools, System Building

Programs funded through the Workforce Information/E-Tools/System Building budget line item assist working-age individuals, employers, government entities, and non-profit organizations.