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.
Continued U.S. leadership in advanced manufacturing requires new technologies, processes, and skills, especially in the emerging fields of biomanufacturing, cyber-manufacturing and eco-manufacturing. To address that need, the U.S. National Science Foundation is announcing investments in 24 new projects to drive future manufacturing.