The Department of Defense today announced the award of six (6) grants totaling $25 million under the Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program by the Office of Economic Adjustment. These awards follow a competitive selection process culminating in Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord’s designation of six Defense Manufacturing Communities on August 16, 2020, and for the Office of Economic Adjustment to invite grant applications to strengthen the national security innovation base. The awards derive from Fiscal Year 2020 appropriated funding, and leverage an additional $12.6 million in non-Federal funding for a total investment of $37.6 million to enhance critical skills, research and development, and small business support in order to strengthen the national security innovation and manufacturing base.
The grant awards are as follows:
- $5 million to Catalyst Connection to undertake a $6,250,000 project to strengthen defense manufacturing capabilities through an industrial production ecosystem that melds advanced metals and materials with artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, and robotics. The Artificial Intelligence in Metals and Manufacturing Consortium will involve 30 entities across the Pennsylvania-West Virginia-Ohio region and build on existing manufacturing collaborations in order to upskill the regional workforce, familiarize manufacturers with new technologies, and spur innovation in these specialized sectors.
- $5 million to the Ohio Development Services Agency to undertake a $6,250,000 project through the Ohio Defense Manufacturing Community to offer Industry 4.0 technical assistance and workforce training for small- and mid-sized defense manufacturers, with a focus on the aerospace and ground vehicle sectors. This project will include leveraging the state’s existing Manufacturing Extension Partnerships and establishing new collaborations with educational facilities statewide in developing the Industry 4.0 workforce of the future.
- $5 million to the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development to undertake a $11,005,000 project to enhance the capabilities of the regional defense industrial ecosystem, with a focus on carbon composites and advanced materials. The project will include several initiatives to strengthen workforce development across the Utah Defense Manufacturing Community, including developing defense manufacturing apprenticeship programs and retraining workers displaced as a result of COVID-19.
- $4.9 million to the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research to undertake a $6,173,962 project to facilitate the California Advanced Defense Ecosystems & National Consortia Effort and enhance defense manufacturing in the state, particularly in the areas of microelectronics, 5G, and space. This effort will assist small- and mid-sized manufacturers develop a workforce capable of assessing opportunities and threats in these converging technology platforms.
- $3.7 million to the University of Alabama in Huntsville to undertake a $6,171,074 project to facilitate visibility, workforce training, and adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies in the region, with a focus on aviation, missiles, and ground vehicle systems. The Alabama Defense Advanced Manufacturing Community includes 22 counties in collaboration with several military installations with operations utilizing advanced manufacturing technologies, including Redstone Arsenal, Anniston Army Depot, Fort Rucker, and Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base.
- $1.4 million to the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development to undertake a $1,750,000 project to enhance in-state defense prime vertical supply chains and bring Model Based Definition technology to each, in an effort to transform the supply chain from a 2-dimensional design and manufacturing platform to a 3-dimensional platform. The technology and processes developed through the Digital Model Initiative will provide a foundation for subsequent digital transformation initiatives in the defense manufacturing supply base.
The Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program is authorized by Section 846 of Public Law 115-232, which enabled the Secretary of Defense to establish a program to designate and support consortiums as defense manufacturing communities to strengthen the national security industrial base.
For more information about the Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program, visit https://oea.gov/Defense-Manufacturing-Community-Support-Program.