WASHINGTON – An Obama administration manufacturing initiative announced Tuesday (May 29) will seek to boost regional industry clusters by connecting economic development efforts with advanced manufacturing assets.
Twelve manufacturing clusters projects are expected to be selected under the $26 million Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge. As with similar efforts to promote manufacturing and technology innovation, the White House stressed the multi-agency initiative will seek to forge public-private partnerships as a way to boost the return on federal investments.
“Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals that will help grow a region's industry clusters by strengthening connections to regional economic development opportunities and advanced manufacturing assets; enhance a region's capacity to create high-quality sustainable jobs; develop a skilled and diverse advanced manufacturing workforce; increase exports; encourage the development of small businesses; and accelerate technological innovation,” the announcement said.
The manufacturing initiative is part of a broad-based government effort to kick start advanced production that would create jobs and help the U.S. compete in emerging value-added manufacturing sectors. For example, the National Science Foundation (NSF), one of the manufacturing program sponsors, is preparing to select of group of startups to develop new technology products under its Innovation Corps program.
Along with NSF, other agencies administering the new program include the Commerce Department’s National Institute Standards and Technology and the Energy Department’s manufacturing office.
The application deadline for the program is July 9. Details on how to submit an application for advanced manufacturing grants are available at the manufacturing.gov Web site.