Ross Brindle

Last week, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded 16 advanced manufacturing technology planning grants totaling $7.8 million to new and existing industry-led consortia as part of its new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) Program. I’m  proud to announce that we’ll once again be part of two consortia involved in the effort to strengthen U.S. manufacturing and innovation across industries through technology roadmapping and planning.

NIST’s AMTech Program was established in 2013 with the goal of catalyzing partnerships between U.S. industry, academia, and government that will support efforts to meet the long-term research needs of the industry. Specifically, the program aims to enable new or strengthen existing industry-led consortia to help identify and prioritize research projects that reduce barriers to the growth of advanced manufacturing. We have written about the potential benefits of the AMTech Program in earlier blog posts. Last week’s awards were part of the second competition for these grants, and recipients were selected from a pool of 118 applicants, seeking a total of $56.6 million in federal funding.

Nexight Group brings our technology roadmapping expertise to two new consortia:

  • Functional Glass Manufacturing Innovation Consortium (FGMIC) – Functional glasses (FGs) represent significant growing markets for the US, impacting some 1.8 million employees and 55,000 companies with $830 billion in annual revenue. Manufacturing and deployment of new FG products for solar panels, fiber optic networks, integration of touchscreen electronics into information systems, and more, need critical breakthroughs that push glass processing and performance to their limits by strategically developing and implementing advanced manufacturing technologies. Led by The American Ceramic Society, FGMIC will coordinate development of an advanced technological manufacturing roadmap for use throughout the entire FG manufacturing community.
  • Atomization Technology Innovation Consortium (ATIC) – Atomization, or the controlled fragmentation of a liquid stream into particles, is a technology that is widely used in a range of cross-industry applications, including powdered materials production, industrial and agricultural sprays, fuel atomization, and industrial combustion. The development and implementation of advanced manufacturing tools and capabilities has the potential to further improve the efficiency, productivity, and global competitiveness of these industries. Led by ASM International, ATIC will coordinate development of an advanced technology roadmap for use throughout the entire atomization community. This consortium will address opportunities both through technology roadmapping and cross-sector engagement with the atomization technology value chain.

Our role in these new projects builds upon the success we are having in supporting three AMTech projects selected during the 2013 funding awards. These projects, which address thermal manufacturing, advanced materials for additive manufacturing, and cell manufacturing, are making excellent progress towards completed technology roadmaps and new, sustainable consortia that can implement these roadmaps.

At Nexight, we specialize in technology roadmapping and know firsthand the power of our roadmap process to bring groups of people to actionable consensus. I look forward to engaging again with the manufacturers, researchers, trade associations, and other stakeholders who are integral to this process and to continuing the facilitation of a path forward for advanced manufacturing. Nexight Group is honored to play a role in strengthening our nation’s capability to innovate.