US additive manufacturing center awarded to Ohio

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Following a nationwide call for proposals, a public-private institute focused on additive manufacturing will be created in the former "Rust Belt" tri-state region of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia -- now rebranded as "Tech Belt" -- as part of a federally funded push to revitalize and encourage investments in US manufacturing.

The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) in Youngstown, OH, a consortium partnership of manufacturers, universities and community colleges, and nonprofit organizations, was the winning group in the US government's call for proposals for a US additive manufacturing institute, drawing from resources among several federal departments (Defense, Energy, Commerce) and the National Science Foundation.

"Additive manufacturing promises not only to make current parts faster and with less waste, but also to quickly construct parts and even whole products that are expensive and time-consuming to manufacture with existing technologies," said Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank, at the Remarks at NAMII pilot announcement in Youngstown, Ohio. "We know that there's a lot more we need to understand to take full commercial advantage of this new technique. That's why we want this institute to focus on fostering and maturing the transformational technologies promised by additive manufacturing."

NAMII is led by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining, and includes research universities (Carnegie Mellon, Case Western Reserve), major companies (Honeywell, Boeing, IBM), small manufacturers (M7, ExOne), and community colleges across the region. (The full list of the 60+ participants is at the end of the official PR.)

Earlier this spring the US government laid out plans to invest $1B for a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation that would catalyze a network of up to fifteen "Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation." The first thrust in that initiative was to create a Pilot Institute for Manufacturing Innovation, drawing from resources among several federal departments (Defense, Energy, Commerce) and the National Science Foundation. NAMII's focus will be on additive manufacturing (aka "3D printing"), with applications in a wide range of industries: defense, aerospace, automotive, and metals manufacturing. The institute will get $30 million in federal funding matched by $40M from the consortium itself.

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