Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Celebrating American Manufacturing

October 7, 2019

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American manufacturing is the leading edge of innovation and an integral part of our economy. On October 4, 2019, we celebrated Manufacturing Day and the inspiring women and men who help advance the manufacturing industry and strengthen American prosperity.

A strong manufacturing sector is critical to maintaining America’s global competitiveness and national security. The Administration is committed to revitalizing American manufacturing by making progress in next-generation manufacturing technologies that keep jobs in America while strengthening the domestic industrial base.  

The Department of Energy (DOE) is focused on innovation in U.S. manufacturing through a wide-range of early-stage research and development (R&D), covering everything from high performance computing to critical materials and additive manufacturing. The Department is working with manufacturers every day to improve energy productivity by utilizing domestic energy sources and developing new technologies.

Paving the Way for Growth in Manufacturing

Over the past year, DOE has announced a series of prize competitions, funding opportunities and partnerships with key stakeholders to enhance energy and material efficiency, improve manufacturing competitiveness, and save energy and money that can be reinvested to create jobs and expand the economy. Since January 2018 DOE’s manufacturing portfolio has expanded to include:

  • Launched in January 2018, the American-Made Challenges are a series of prizes and competitions that focus on lowering barriers that U.S.-based innovators face in reaching manufacturing scale by accelerating innovation while helping to create partnerships that connect entrepreneurs to the private sector and the network of DOE's National Laboratories across the nation.
  • The Manufacturing Innovator Challenge, a broader effort by DOE and the Administration to crowdsource solutions for next-generation manufacturing and attract broad industry participation to help solve today's manufacturing challenges. In partnership with Freelancer.com, the U.S. Department of Energy is launching the Manufacturing Innovator Challenge, a series of small prizes that focus on advances in additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, among other topics.In partnership with Freelancer.com, the U.S. Department of Energy is launching the Manufacturing Innovator Challenge, a series of small prizes that focus on advances in additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, among other topics.In partnership with Freelancer.com, the U.S. Department of Energy is launching the Manufacturing Innovator Challenge, a series of small prizes that focus on advances in additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, among other topics.
  • In March 2019, Secretary Perry announced $70 million in funding for a Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute to address cybersecurity for energy efficient manufacturing, a Departmental priority. The adoption of automated controls and sensors provide potential improved energy efficiency of manufacturing, but cybersecurity threats limit adoption of these technologies if left unaddressed.
  • In May, Secretary Perry announced $89 million in funding for the development of cutting-edge manufacturing processes, including a major topic to reduce the cost of battery manufacturing for vehicle and stationary applications.
  • Most recently, DOE selected the National Alliance for Water Innovation to lead an Energy-Water Desalination Hub (Hub) to address critical water issues in the U.S. The Hub will focus on early-stage R&D to enable the manufacturing of energy efficiency desalination technologies for multiple end-use applications, including municipal, agricultural, and industrial.

Looking to the Future with Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Scientific Computing

When we look to the future of advanced manufacturing, we see an opportunity in advanced scientific computing and artificial intelligence to leverage the strengths of supercomputing. One focus of the Department’s efforts is the High Performance Computing (HPC) for Energy Innovation program, funded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office, Vehicle Technologies Office, Fuel Cell Technologies Office and Building Technologies Offices, as well as DOE’s Fossil Energy Office.

The HPC program is made up of nine labs led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which partners with the private sector to utilize DOE’s supercomputing capabilities and advanced simulation and data analytics techniques to improve manufacturing processes and develop better products. As part of this effort, DOE awarded almost $1.2 million for four new projects to support American steel and aluminum manufacturers in improving energy efficiency, increasing productivity, and accelerating manufacturing innovation.

DOE's Continued Commitment to American Manufacturing

DOE just announced the winners of the first prize launched under the American-Made Challenges – the American-Made Solar Prize – and will continue to launch additional prize opportunities for manufacturing design concepts within several technology areas. We will continue to do our part to drive energy and manufacturing innovation by working closely with American manufacturing leaders to help make our nation more productive, prosperous, and secure.

Going forward, we hope communities across the country will join the Department in celebrating American manufacturing on Manufacturing Day and every day.

MARK W. MENEZES

The Honorable Mark Wesley Menezes is the Under Secretary of Energy and serves as the Energy Department’s principal advisor on energy policy.