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Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) announced selections totaling up to $1.7 million for four projects that will advance innovation in smart manufacturing. The selected projects will create educational programs that support smart-manufacturing technologies, processes, and workforce development.

The Trump Administration has identified smart manufacturing as vital to the U.S. economy. In a report titled, “Strategy for American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing,” the White House calls for new, smart-manufacturing technologies to “facilitate a digital transformation in the manufacturing sector by enabling the application of big data analytics and advanced sensing and control technologies to a host of manufacturing activities.”

“Smart-manufacturing technologies can improve efficiency across the entire manufacturing sector, strengthening U.S. manufacturing competitiveness,” said Alex Fitzsimmons, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency. “Our investments in smart manufacturing will help position the U.S. for global leadership in the advanced manufacturing industries of the future.”

CESMII selected the following projects for negotiations:

  • West Virginia University and Festo Didactic will create new curricula that allow students of diverse educational backgrounds to learn how traditional manufacturing and industrial practices and data-driven analytics are applied in smart-manufacturing systems.
  • Auburn University, Rayonier Advanced Materials, and Linde will develop interactive training modules based on smart-manufacturing testbeds and data-enabled engineering projects.
  • University of Texas - El Paso and Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center, Paso del Norte will create a smart-manufacturing curriculum and certificate program catering to Hispanic students and expand the smart-manufacturing workforce using existing regional academic, industry, and workforce-development partnerships.
  • Purdue University (West Lafayette) will design and develop an accredited Bachelor of Science degree program in smart manufacturing.

CESMII is a part of Manufacturing USA, a network of federally funded institutes working to increase U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and promote a robust and sustainable national manufacturing research and development (R&D) infrastructure. CESMII works with American companies to spur innovations in new, integrated, systematic, “smart” manufacturing processes, including advanced sensors, controls, platforms, and models. CESMII also promotes a highly skilled manufacturing workforce and a strong domestic supply chain.

Founded in 2016, in partnership with DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), CESMII is the third institute funded by EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. CESMII accelerates smart manufacturing adoption through the integration of advanced sensors, data analytics, platforms and controls to improve productivity, precision, performance, and energy consumption in manufacturing.