2021 Grant Awardees
On September 22, 2021, the Department of Defense announced the award of five (5) grants totaling approximately $25 million under the Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program by the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation. These awards followed a competitive selection process culminating in the designation of these communities as “Defense Manufacturing Communities” by Mr. Gregory M. Kausner, Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment on August 11, 2021. The awards originate from Fiscal Year 2021 appropriated funding and leverage an additional $11.7 million in non-Federal funds for a total investment of $36.7 million for long-term investment in critical skills, facilities, workforce development, research and development, and small business support in order to strengthen the national security innovation base.
The grant awards are as follows:
1. Commonwealth of Virginia Office of Veterans and Defense Affairs
Maritime Industries Talent Development
$5 million to the Commonwealth of Virginia, Office of Veterans and Defense Affairs-led Defense Manufacturing Consortia to undertake a $7,045,113 project to recruit, train and modernize the Commonwealth’s maritime workforce. The goal of the Virginia Maritime Industrial Base Consortium is to increase manufacturing capacity, capability, resiliency, and diversity in the maritime industrial base by creating a cross-region K-12 to university training pipeline for skilled workers and manufacturing engineers to support the Navy’s sustainment and shipbuilding needs.
2. North Carolina State University - Industry Expansion Solutions
Smart Textiles and Wearables
$5 million to the North Carolina State University Industry Expansion Solutions-led Defense Manufacturing Consortia to undertake a $7,466,588 project in the area of advanced textiles/autonomous wearables and implement a strategy to address immediate ramp-up needs as businesses transition out of COVID-19 restricted operations to longer-term technological opportunities.
3. Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station
Defense Workforce and Supply Chain Development
$4.99 million to the Texas Engineering Experiment Station-led Defense Manufacturing Community Consortia to undertake a $6,947,453 project to inject targeted Smart Manufacturing skills and technologies into the diverse manufacturing portfolio of the Texas defense aerospace manufacturing ecosystem. The consortium intends to deliver outcomes in the areas of workforce development; structured networking & supply chain development; policy & economic development; and research & infrastructure.
4. University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Advanced Machine Tooling
$5 million to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville-led Defense Manufacturing Community Consortia to undertake an $8,624,399 project to address next-generation machine tools and smart manufacturing processes; create an education and training pipeline to recruit and prepare the future workforce needed to operate these new technologies; and integrate academic, government, and corporate partners to translate these advances into industry leadership and economic impact.
5. Wichita State University, National Institute for Aviation Research
$5 million to the Wichita State University National Institute for Aviation Research-led Defense Manufacturing Community Consortia to undertake a $6,576,590 project to expand capabilities, processes, sustainment planning, workforce, and engineering competencies to prototype development for weapon system parts and assemblies.
2020 Grant Awardees
On September 17, 2020, the Department of Defense announced the award of six (6) grants totaling $25,000,000. These awards followed a competitive selection process culminating in the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment’s designation of six Defense Manufacturing Communities on August 16, 2020, and for the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation 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 were as follows:
1. The Artificial Intelligence in Metals and Manufacturing Consortium
Artificial Intelligence for Additive Manufacturing
$5,000,000 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.
2. Ohio Defense Manufacturing Community
Ground and Air Vehicle Parts/Assemblies
$5,000,000 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.
3. Utah Defense Manufacturing Community
$5,000,000 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. California Advanced Defense Ecosystems & National Consortia Effort
Microelectronics, Space, 5G
$4,900,000 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.
5. Alabama Defense Advanced Manufacturing Community
Modernization of Vehicles, Aviation and Missiles
$3,700,000 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.
6. The Connecticut Defense Manufacturing Community Consortium
Submarines, Vertical Lift
$1,400,000 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.