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Energy Department Announces $70 Million for Innovation Institute on Smart Manufacturing

September 16, 2015 - 8:36am


Public-Private Partnership to Support Advancements in Advanced Sensors, Controls, Modeling

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the Department of Energy is announcing up to $70 million in funding for the next Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute, which will be focused on smart manufacturing. With this investment, the Department aims to support research and development advancements that can reduce the cost of deployment for technologies such as advanced sensors, controls, platforms, and modeling for manufacturing by as much as 50 percent. As part of President Obama’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) institutes, the institute will also demonstrate these technologies in manufacturing processes with a goal to increase energy efficiency by at least 15 percent and improve energy productivity by at least 50 percent. With increased deployment and reduced costs, these SMART technologies can transform American manufacturing, enabling businesses to manufacture more while using less energy and spending less.

“SMART Manufacturing is a key information technology approach to unlocking energy efficiency in manufacturing,” said Secretary Ernest Moniz. “These technologies will make industries from oil and gas to aerospace and food production more competitive with intelligent communications systems, real-time energy savings and increased energy productivity. Energy intensive industries, such as steelmaking, could see a 10 to 20 percent reduction in the cost of production, making products such as solar panels and chemical materials, such as plastics, as well as the cars and other products they go into, more affordable for American consumers.”

The Innovation Institute on Smart Manufacturing will be the third Energy Department-funded facility as part of President Obama’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) institutes. Each manufacturing institute is a private-public partnership that serves as a regional hub, bridging the gap between applied research and product development by bringing together federal agencies, companies, universities and other academic and training institutions to co-invest in key technology areas that encourage investment and production in the U.S. The new institute will receive a federal investment of up to $70 million that will be matched by private investments and represents a critical step in the Administration’s effort to double U.S. energy efficiency by 2030.

Through Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, in particular, the Energy Department is driving down the cost of energy efficient materials and technologies making them cost competitive for manufacturing in the U.S. The Administration’s recent Advanced Manufacturing Partnership 2.0, a partnership with the private sector and university leaders, identified smart manufacturing as one of the highest impact priority areas for the development of new technology affecting manufacturing and recommended that the Energy Department take the lead in addressing gaps in the development of smart manufacturing technology.

View the full funding opportunity announcement for the Innovation Institute on Smart Manufacturing.