The interagency Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office (AMNPO) helps to coordinate the efforts of all federal agencies involved in advanced manufacturing. First recommended by the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), a steering committee under the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) comprised of national leaders from industry and academia, the office was established in 2012 by the Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the National Economic Council. The AMNPO provides both a key convening body for requesting and accepting multi-sector input as well as a platform for communication, collaboration, and coordination among the federal agencies participating in Manufacturing USA.

The following agencies and offices participate in the Manufacturing USA Program.

Department of Commerce

As part of its mission to support innovation, manufacturing, exports, and foreign direct investment, the Department of Commerce (DOC) supports the work of the Manufacturing USA Program by establishing industry-led Manufacturing Innovation Institutes. The Department hosts the AMNPO, an interagency team with participation from federal agencies that oversees the planning, management, and coordination of the Manufacturing USA Program.

Innovation results from initial advances that lead to additional technology and process improvements, with resulting benefits accruing to industry, the economy, and society as a whole. Innovation in advanced manufacturing begins with the generation of new ideas that are refined and matured through applied research, development, and invention. Manufacturers then scale those ideas for mass production in order to generate process improvements and make new products. The experience and knowledge gained through manufacturing then leads to new ideas that start the cycle again. The Department has central responsibility for supporting and expanding each part of this cycle and has the relationships with businesses necessary to identify the workforce skills needed to support new and growing industries.

The Department increases regional and national capacity for innovative manufacturing through partnerships with state and local governments, academic institutions, and the private sector. Through the Department’s convening power, regional economic development programs, and statistical and economic analysis, it empowers industry-driven solutions to the shortage of high demand skills. Finally, the Department supports research and development leading to transformative changes in technology and promotes intellectual property policy that supports and protects innovation. By supporting public-private partnerships, such as the Manufacturing USA, the Department helps to accelerate technology development and commercialization, and strengthen the Nation’s position in the global competition for new products, new markets, and new jobs.

Department of Defense

The Department of Defense (DoD) requires a mechanism for shaping and developing the domestic design and manufacturing industrial base in support of national security needs. The Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Program1 was established in 1956 to advance the maturity of manufacturing processes in order to bridge the gap from research and development to full-scale production and aid in the economical and timely acquisition of weapon systems and components. New emerging technologies hold strategic promise for the DoD, but fragmented and frail ecosystems are at risk of collapse due to infrastructure and workforce complexities. An ecosystem established for DoD requirements only is insufficient to establish a robust and sustainable ecosystem. Instead, advanced manufacturing ecosystems must be built on common commercial and defense manufacturing and design challenges for shared risks and shared benefits.

The DoD Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, a key investment strategy for the DoD and ManTech program, are designed to overcome many of these challenges by advancing manufacturing innovation for specific, focused technology area manufacturing ecosystems. The DoD has established six institutes and has two more planned for Fiscal Year 2017. The five institutes, America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute; the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII); Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow (LIFT),at the time called the Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation Institute; the American Institute for Manufacturing integrated Photonics – AIM Photonics; and NextFlex | America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Institute, and AFFOA – Advanced Functional Fabrics of America. The DoD plans to award a cooperative agreement for Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles in Fiscal Year 2016.

[1] 10 U.S.C. § 2521

Department of Education

The Department of Education (DoEd) supports education at all levels with across-the-board relevance to the knowledge and skill needs of the economy. Particular programs and initiatives focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, which are especially important in building the technically skilled workforce needed by the advanced manufacturing industry. Most significantly, the Department administers funds that support career and technical education programs in local education agencies and community colleges across the nation. Further, the Department conducts leadership and technical assistance activities to promote quality career and technical education programs that are well articulated between secondary and postsecondary levels, and lead to successful careers. A particular focus for leadership and assistance programs is on advanced manufacturing, and the Department is supporting federal efforts to revive this sector through its support for the technical skills agenda.

The Department has been active in helping develop Manufacturing USA from its formation, and collaborates with other federal agencies, in particular those that focus on the knowledge and skill needs of the economy and efforts related to student success.

Department of Energy

The Department of Energy (DOE) mission is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental, and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions. This includes catalyzing the timely, material and efficient transformation of the nation’s energy system and securing U.S. leadership in advanced manufacturing technologies, as well as, maintaining a vibrant U.S. effort in science and engineering as a cornerstone of our economic prosperity. To accomplish these goals, the DOE has established multiple manufacturing initiatives as cross-cutting innovative programs within the department to strengthen U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and to increase U.S. manufacturing competitiveness across the board by boosting energy productivity and leveraging low-cost domestic energy resources and feedstocks.

Advanced manufacturing involves the minimization of the energy of the production, use, and disposal of manufactured goods, which range from fundamental commodities such as metals and chemicals to sophisticated final-use products such as automobiles and wind turbine blades. The manufacturing sector, a subset of the industrial sector, consumes 25 exajoules (24 quads) of primary energy annually in the United States — about 79% of total industrial energy use. The DOE partners with private and public stakeholders to support the research and development of innovative technologies that can improve U.S. competitiveness, save energy, and ensure global leadership in advanced manufacturing technologies.

The DOE uses manufacturing innovation institutes to develop advanced manufacturing technologies to support these initiatives. At the end of the fiscal year 2016, the DOE has awarded two institutes. The first, PowerAmerica, is focused on wide bandgap semiconductor technologies for next generation power electronics. The second, the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, is focused on composite technologies for vehicles, wind turbine blades, and compressed gas storage tanks. Since the beginning of the latest fiscal year, i.e. FY 2017, three additional institutes have been solicited, selected and awarded. These additional institutes include; Smart Manufacturing: Advanced Sensors, Controls, Platforms and Modelling for Manufacturing, Process Intensification: Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) and Reducing Embodied Energy and Decreasing Emission (REMADE) in Materials Manufacturing.

Department of Health and Human Services

It is the mission of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans. They fulfill that mission by providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services. Some of its agencies are:

Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority’s (BARDA) overarching vision is of a Nation with the capability to respond quickly and effectively to deliberate, natural, and emerging threats so as to minimize their impact and recover promptly. A critical enabling factor for the realization of this vision is the existence of a robust domestic pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector that actively collaborates with the Federal Government to address unmet medical countermeasure and public health requirements.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for promoting and protecting the public health by assuring the safety and efficacy of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines, blood, and other biological products, medical devices and radiation-emitting products. Issues in pharmaceutical manufacturing have the potential to significantly impact patient care, in that failures in quality may result in product recalls and harm to patients. Additionally, failures in product or facility quality are a major factor leading to disruptions in supply of medicines. Modernizing manufacturing technology may lead to a more robust manufacturing process and greater assurance that the drug products manufactured in any given period of time will provide the expected clinical performance.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides leadership and direction to programs designed to improve the health of the Nation by conducting and supporting research in harnessing new technologies to improve health. Rapid expansion of technological capabilities has opened new horizons for biomedical research. Innovative research methods stimulated by technological and engineering advances are facilitating the development of new strategies to diagnose, prevent, and treat a host of diseases. Technology also facilitates the integration of previously disparate fields, such as biology and electronics, enabling NIH to cultivate new lines of medical research and practice.

Department of Labor

The Department of Labor's mission is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights. The rapidly changing manufacturing workplace has led to the growing demand for workers and concerted efforts to support the sector through national, state, and local economic and workforce development activity. In alignment with its mission, the Department of Labor administers several grant programs that seek to increase the number of skilled workers in the high-demand manufacturing field. These include the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program, Jobs Accelerator Innovation Challenge, Make It In America Grant Program, and American Apprenticeship Grant Program. The Department is also supporting in a White House-led initiative, Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership, that aims 51 to spur communities to develop integrated, long-term economic development strategies that sharpen their competitive edge in attracting global manufacturers and their supply chains to our local communities—increasing investment and creating jobs.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) depends on manufacturing innovation to enhance its technical and scientific capabilities in aeronautics and space exploration. NASA will support the Manufacturing USA Program through funded research and development to help stimulate its mission-related capacity for innovation and economic growth within the government, at universities, and at industrial companies.

NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) serves as the Agency’s principal organization supporting the Manufacturing USA Program. STMD rapidly develops, demonstrates, and infuses revolutionary, high-payoff technologies through transparent, collaborative partnerships, expanding the boundaries of the aerospace enterprise. By investing in bold, broadly applicable, disruptive technology that industry cannot tackle today, STMD seeks to mature the technology required for NASA’s future missions in science and exploration while proving the capabilities and lowering the cost for other government agencies and commercial space activities. These collective efforts give NASA the ability to do first of a kind missions and longer-term advancements in research and technology — those beyond what industry will take on and those focused on national advancement in aeronautics and space that also align with NASA’s role in the Manufacturing USA Program.

NASA will leverage the Manufacturing USA Program to support advanced manufacturing technology research and development as a critical means of addressing improved affordability, enhanced performance, and improved safety and reliability for NASA’s aerospace research and development efforts. NASA investments span low, mid, and high technology readiness levels (TRLs) through multiple NASA programs including Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program, Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR), Game Changing Development, Technology Demonstration Missions, and other grant opportunities.

Advanced manufacturing research and development at NASA is focused in several areas: cutting-edge materials, additive manufacturing (3D printing), polymer matrix composites, metals processing/joining, robotics, computational physics-based modeling, non-destructive evaluation, and other highly specialized areas. This research and development is conducted through a combination of in-house activities at NASA centers, competitively funded research with universities and industry, and collaborations with other agencies, universities, and industry. The rapid infusion of advanced manufacturing technologies into mission applications is a major emphasis of NASA’s technology investment plan.

NASA is expanding its efforts to engage industry and academia on advanced manufacturing topics central to the nation’s space mission through its National Center of Advanced Manufacturing, with a particular focus to develop “technology testbeds” within its research facilities and manufacturing technologies that reduce the weight of materials during space flight.

NASA has participated in the Manufacturing USA since its inception and is committed to partnering with other participating agencies to identify key technical challenges in advanced manufacturing research and development, focus resources to address these challenges, and accelerate the development of advanced manufacturing breakthroughs and their translation into commercial products.

National Institute of Standards and Technology

The Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is the only research laboratory in the U.S. government specifically focused on enhancing industrial competitiveness, including a robust research portfolio concentrated on the technical challenges associated with advanced manufacturing. In addition, the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is a critical resource to engage small and mid-size manufacturers to develop new products, expand into global markets, and adopt new technologies, such as those in development in the Institutes.

National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports fundamental advanced manufacturing research, education and workforce training in its Directorates for Engineering, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and Education and Human Resources. It also promotes advanced manufacturing innovation through a variety of translational research programs, including the SBIR, STTR, and Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) Programs, and by partnering with industry, states, and other agencies. In fiscal year 2015 the NSF and NIST jointly established and funded MForesight: Alliance for Manufacturing Foresight, a think-and-do tank that harnesses the expertise of the broad U.S.-based manufacturing community to forecast future advanced manufacturing technologies.

The NSF advanced manufacturing investment is primarily through its Cyber-enabled Materials, Manufacturing and Smart Systems (CEMMSS) priority area. An estimated $231.46 million was invested in CEMMSS in fiscal year 2015, with an estimated $164.73 million of that in advanced manufacturing. These programs support fundamental research leading to transformative advances in manufacturing that address size scales from nanometers to kilometers, including process modeling, advanced sensing and control techniques, smart manufacturing using sustainable materials, chemical reactor design and control, and manufacturing processes and enabling technology to support the biopharmaceutical, biotechnology, and bioenergy industries, with emphases on efficiency, economy, and minimal environmental impact. Advanced manufacturing is also supported through the Engineering Research Centers (ERC), Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) and Advanced Technological Education (ATE) programs. With an emphasis on two-year colleges, the ATE program focuses on the education of technicians for the high-technology fields that drive our nation’s economy.

All NSF programs welcome the submission of proposals to collaborate with Manufcturing USA Institutes in cutting-edge research and educational projects. Projects that are currently funded by NSF are also encouraged to request funding supplements to perform collaborate research and/or educational projects with institutes. It is expected that the incorporation of the resources, expertise, and experience of Manufacturing Innovation Institutes members will increase the competitiveness of such proposals in merit review.

Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. We recognize that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America’s future, and to helping the U.S. compete in today’s global marketplace. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build, and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

The Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office

Hosted by the Department of Commerce at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the AMNPO is an interagency team with participation from federal agencies involved in advanced manufacturing. Principal participant agencies currently include the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Education, and Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation. Established in 2012, the AMNPO reports to the Executive Office of the President and operates under the NSTC on cross-agency initiatives. The office reports to the Secretary of Commerce in its role as the “the National Office of the Network for Manufacturing Innovation Program,” also referred to as the “National Program Office,” as described by the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2014.

The National Economic Council

The National Economic Council (NEC) was established in 1993 to advise the President on U.S. and global economic policy. It resides within the Office of Policy Development and is part of the Executive Office of the President. The NEC has four principal functions: to coordinate policy-making for domestic and international economic issues, to coordinate economic policy advice for the President, to ensure that policy decisions and programs are consistent with the President’s economic goals, and to monitor implementation of the President’s economic policy agenda. 

The National Science and Technology Council

The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) is the principal means by which the Executive Branch coordinates science and technology policy across the federal research and development enterprise. A primary objective of the NSTC is establishing clear national goals for federal science and technology investments. The NSTC prepares research and development strategies that are coordinated across federal agencies to form investment packages aimed at accomplishing multiple national goals. The work of the NSTC is organized under committees that oversee subcommittees and working groups focused on different aspects of science and technology.

The Office of Science and Technology Policy

The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) was established by the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976. OSTP’s responsibilities include advising the President in policy formulation and budget development on questions in which science and technology are important elements; articulating the President’s science and technology policy and programs; and fostering strong partnerships among federal, state, and local governments, and the scientific communities in industry and academia. The Director of OSTP also serves as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and manages the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).

The Subcommittee on Advanced Manufacturing

The NSTC Subcommittee on Advanced Manufacturing (SAM) serves as a forum for information-sharing, coordination, and consensus-building among participating agencies regarding federal policy, programs, and budget guidance for advanced manufacturing. Originally chartered in 2012, the Subcommittee seeks to identify: gaps in federal advanced manufacturing research and development portfolio and policies, programs and policies that support technology commercialization, methods of improving business climate, and opportunities for public-private collaboration. Regarding advanced manufacturing programs conducted by the Federal Government, the Subcommittee engages in the identification and integration of multi-agency technical requirements, joint program planning and coordination, and development of joint strategies or multi-agency joint solicitations.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Worldwide, the bioenergy and bio-products industries are emerging as new and rapidly growing sectors; given the high productivity of the U.S. agricultural industry, bio-based product manufacturing is a significant opportunity for the U.S. to support growth of a bio-economy. Expansion of the bio-economy has the potential to sustainably harvest and utilize 1 billion tons of new biomass in the U.S. without affecting existing farm and forestry product markets, growing the current market five-fold over the next 15 years and adding $500 billion to the annual bio-economy.

The agricultural sector is essential for ensuring sustainable, reliable, and accessible production of bioenergy and bio-based products that: 1) replace the use of petroleum and other strategic materials that would otherwise need to be imported, 2) create higher-value revenue streams for producers in rural and agricultural communities, 3) improve the nutrition and well-being of animals and humans; and
4) provide ecosystem services such as ensuring clean air and water, biodiversity, and nutrient cycling to the environment and society.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recognizes the role that manufacturing plays in maximizing the benefits of a sustainable, rural economy. Areas of interest include bio-manufacturing and bio-products development to: 1) establish processes and chemical platforms leading to high-value intermediate and end-use products, 2) support commercialization of products developed from basic and applied research, 3) build domestic capability for ongoing bio-manufacturing and bio-products development, and 4) educate and train needed workforce. The growth of the bio-economy also depends upon understanding and addressing the entire supply chain of the bio-economy, rural America’s role in the bio-economy, and the role of research and development.

In addition, nanocellulose materials have enormous promise to bring about fundamental changes in and significant benefit from our Nation’s use of renewable resources. These cellulose nanomaterials when derived from trees: 1) are renewable and sustainable; 2) are produced in trees via photosynthesis from solar energy, atmospheric carbon dioxide, and water; 3) store carbon; and 4) depending upon how long cellulose-based products remain in service, are carbon negative or carbon neutral. Cellulosic nanocrystals, for example, are predicted to have strength properties comparable to Kevlar, have piezoelectric properties comparable to quartz, and can be manipulated to produce photonic structures. Current global research directions in cellulose nanomaterials indicate that this material could be used for a variety of new and improved product applications, including lighter and stronger paper and paperboard products; lighter and stronger building materials; wood products with improved durability; barrier coatings; body armor; automobile and airplane composite panels; electronics; biomedical applications; and replacement of petrochemicals in plastics and composites.