In June 2017, the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) conducted a review of the technology research and development (R&D) and technical partnerships supported by our office. Peer reviews are a critical component to R&D, both for public sector and private sector participants. They provide an opportunity for project performers and consortia partners to evaluate activities, receive constructive feedback from technical experts, and ensure projects are on track toward success. Peer reviews are also allow project performers to exchange knowledge and ideas with one another so they can integrate new technical information and best practices into their work and identify potential opportunities for future partnerships to achieve aligned goals. We are reassured by the fact that AMO continues to support groundbreaking work in early stage applied R&D.
For AMO’s peer review, over 100 representatives from the industrial, academic, and research communities gathered in the D.C. area to hear presentations by the research performers on our portfolio of ongoing and recently completed efforts. After an introduction, overview of AMO’s Multi-Year Program Plan and strategic analysis activities, and summary of our national laboratory manufacturing consortia programs, peer review participants split up into two tracks. In “Track A,” team leads for each R&D project gave a presentation, followed by a question and answer period. “Track B” of the peer review included presentations by team leads for each of our technical partnership areas and R&D consortia. An independent expert panel formally reviewed the portfolio and is preparing a report on their findings and recommendations. This feedback is crucial to inform the direction of applied R&D and validate AMO research results with the private sector.
This year also included a new Technical Resources Network Forum that highlighted resources, tools, and partnership opportunities available through AMO. It was an opportunity for partners and stakeholders to explore opportunities to engage with AMO. Specifically, the forum included panels focused on opportunities for partners to interface with DOE’s world class national laboratories and other federal research consortia.
Manufacturing is the most diverse part of the economy in terms of its energy sources, technologies employed, and economic impact. The diversity of manufacturing means there are a wide range of technical opportunities and challenges to advance the goals of energy productivity and competitiveness. The peer review helps AMO to continuously improve as we continue to support early-stage R&D and the discovery of new knowledge in energy-efficient technologies and practices in U.S. manufacturing. These investments in broadly-applicable, platform technologies can have an impact by saving energy and enhancing U.S. global competitiveness.
I’d like to express my gratitude to all the peer review team and research participants for helping AMO become a more effective innovation driver and partner for industry, small business, universities, national labs, and other stakeholders.