Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program
The Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program is designed to support long-term community investments that strengthen national security innovation and expand the capabilities of the defense manufacturing industrial ecosystem.
The Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program is authorized under Section 846 of the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, 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. This program was developed in coordination with the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Industrial Base Policy (formerly known as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy) and the Under Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering.
The Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation manages this program on behalf of the Department of Defense. A total of $50 million has been allocated ($25 million in each of the previous two fiscal years) to 11 Defense Manufacturing Communities to assist over 1,350 defense businesses and 29,000 workers. This program currently assists:
- More than 1,000 small and medium size companies to receive guidance on entering the defense sector;
- Development of 11 new defense technologies/ products;
- Improvement of 23 defense technologies/ products; and
- Enhancement of cybersecurity capabilities of 397 companies.
The funding and technical assistance provided through the program enhances a region's ability to narrow gaps and address needs in defense manufacturing in the areas of:
- Critical skills
- Research and development
- Small business support
On August 16, 2022, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, Dr. William A. LaPlante, designated six consortia as “Defense Manufacturing Communities,” and directed the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation to invite grant applications on the basis of the proposals received.
Eligibility and Requirements
For the Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program, a consortium must be the applicant. A consortium can be comprised of the following organizations and various combinations of the following: academia, defense industry, defense industry and association-led organizations, non-profit organizations, and/or state and local government organizations.
The consortium must demonstrate regional collaboration capabilities and technological and/or industrial base supply chains that are determined to be critical to national security.
Proposals should be submitted by a “Lead Organization” on behalf of the regional manufacturing consortium. Eligible Lead Organizations are state, local or tribal government organizations, non-profit or private non-profit institutions.
During open competition periods, the general application process is as follows:
Step 1: The consortium must apply for and receive designation as a Defense Manufacturing Community. Proposals will be evaluated according to the eligibility and scoring criteria listed within the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) in Grants.gov.
Step 2: Upon receiving the above designation, the consortium will be invited to submit a grant application for funding. The grantee must contribute at least 20 percent of the total project cost toward the project. The activities eligible under this program may include:
- equipment or facility upgrade
- workforce training, retraining, or recruitment and retention, including that of women and underrepresented minorities
- business incubators
- advanced research and commercialization, including with Federal laboratories and depots
- supply chain development
- small business assistance
See Grant Terms and Conditions for more information on financial assistance requirements.
To download a Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program Fact Sheet, click here.
Fiscal Year 2022 Grant Awardees
On September 23, 2022, the Department of Defense announced the award of six (6) grants totaling approximately $30 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 Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, Dr. William A. LaPlante on August 16, 2022.
The awards derive from Fiscal Year 2022 appropriated funding and leverage an additional $9,570,929 million in non-Federal funds for a total investment of $39,314,390 million to make long-term investments 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:
Mississippi-Shipbuilding Industry Preparedness for National Security
Mississippi Department of Employment Security
Primary Focus: Shipbuilding
$4,999,634 to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security-led Mississippi-Shipbuilding Industry Preparedness for National Security Consortium to undertake a $6,694,579 project to bolster national security by modernizing Mississippi’s shipbuilding industry by enhancing sector capacity, capability, competitiveness, and resiliency. The project will create a skilled and diverse talent pipeline for the region's shipbuilding industry, accelerate adoption of Industry 4.0 manufacturing practices in the shipbuilding supply chain, and develop advanced solutions designed to enhance worker safety. Consortium members will implement regionally-tailored strategies in support of each goal, ensuring partners have a broad reach and a lasting impact.
Illinois Defense Manufacturing Consortium
The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Primary Focus: Castings and Forgings, Energy Storage
$5,000,000 to the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois-led Illinois Defense Manufacturing Consortium (ILDMC) to undertake a $6,603,250 project to launch a Casting, Forging, and Energy Storage Center of Excellence to introduce new offerings, comprehensive solutions, innovative manufacturing technologies, and state-of-the-art workforce training modules targeting underrepresented populations. The ILDMC will ensure that the casting and forging industry is more productive, innovative, and focused on Department of Defense needs.
Rhode Island Manufacturing to Accelerate the Defense Ecosystem
University of Rhode Island Research Foundation
Primary Focus: Shipbuilding
$5,000,000 to the University of Rhode Island Research Foundation-led Rhode Island Manufacturing to Accelerate the Defense Ecosystem Consortium to undertake a $6,500,000 project to address weaknesses in the maritime defense industrial base through strengthening workforce training or retraining or recruitment and retention, and expanding small business assistance to support automation, robotics, and cyber resiliency. The project will provide intensive technical assistance to a minimum of 25 small businesses, educate and train 675 students and workers using Manufacturing Innovation Institute enhanced offerings, and launch an innovative Education to Assessment model to enhance assessment capability and supplier matching for Department of Defense supply chain companies.
New Jersey Defense Manufacturing Community
New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc.
Primary Focus: Missiles and Munitions, Castings and Forgings, Microelectronics
$5,000,000 to the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc.-led New Jersey Defense Manufacturing Community Consortium to undertake a $6,500,000 project to support Picatinny Arsenal’s Joint Center of Excellence for Guns and Ammunition to fill key advanced manufacturing technology needs and to create transition opportunities for new defense technologies. The project will support ecosystem capacity building in technology-driven market intelligence and focus on workforce training, retraining, or recruitment and retention, including that of women, underrepresented minorities, and veterans, military personnel, and their family members, transitioning into manufacturing careers.
Supply Chains of Recovered Elements Consortium
States: MI, OH, PA, WI, WV
SAE Government Technologies
Primary Focus: Critical Minerals
$4,743,827 to SAE Government Technologies-led Supply Chain of Recovered Elements Consortium (SCORE) to undertake a $6,316,561 project to accelerate the development of domestic manufacturing supply chains for critical minerals by engaging in parallel development with organizations across upstream and downstream segments, achieving commercial capacities in a matter of years, not decades. Through the implementation of new modular, advanced, and highly selective separation technologies, SCORE will utilize mine and industrial waste to build a fully capable domestic supply chain and trained workforce that requires no new mining and no foreign processing. The first focus of SCORE will be the extraction of scandium and integration into the aluminum alloys supply chain, supporting domestic manufacturing through castings, welding, and additive (3D printing) pathways. SCORE will achieve a sustainable manufacturing supply chain within three years in the five-state region of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Microelectronics Precision Rapid Innovation and Scaling Manufacturing Network
The University of Texas at Austin
Primary Focus: Microelectronics
$5,000,000 to the University of Texas at Austin-led Microelectronics Precision Rapid Innovation and Scaling Manufacturing Network Consortium to undertake a $6,700,000 project to provide accelerated processes for advanced microelectronics research and commercialization, business incubation and acceleration, services to small businesses and supply chain development with new levels of integration and sustainability, in a region that encompasses some of the nation’s leading semiconductor and defense industry assets and skilled workforce.
For information on past grant awardees, please click here.