Credit: Stuart Miles.
Today President Barack Obama announced the next step in his effort "to guarantee that the next revolution in manufacturing is made right here in America." The U.S. Dept. of Energy will make a new $23.5 million investment in five additional innovative manufacturing R&D projects. This new funding for advanced manufacturing -- as well as the $54 million invested in 13 projects during the first round of selections in June of 2012 -- will serve as a ground floor investment in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's (EERE) new Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative (CEMI).
Both CEMI and the new funds were announced at the ribbon cutting of the Department's Carbon Fiber Technology Facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn., a new advanced manufacturing facility to reduce the cost of carbon fiber -- a crucial material for efficient lightweight vehicles, next-generation wind turbines, and a wide array of other consumer and industrial products.
At the ceremony, Assistant Secretary David Danielson said, "Our $77 million investment for advanced clean energy manufacturing enterprise creation will help to stimulate a renaissance in U.S manufacturing and ensure that the benefits from these investments begin to accrue broadly across the U.S. economy."
These projects are expected to improve energy productivity, reduce pollution, and boost product output, while creating jobs and helping American companies expand export opportunities globally. Emphasizing the far-reaching effect of the manufacturing industry, Dr. Robert W. Ivester, acting program director for the Advanced Manufacturing Office said, "Manufacturing develops and produces many of the process and materials technologies that advance the competitiveness and growth of the entire economy, including the much larger service sector. In fact, manufacturing has a larger multiplier effect -- a dollar spent in manufacturing drives an additional $1.35 in economic activity -- than any other major part of the economy."
All EERE manufacturing projects were selected through a competitive application process and are supported by exceptional research teams working on foundational process and materials technologies -- technologies that have high impact, use project diversity to spread risk, target nationally important innovation at critical decision points, and contribute to quantifiable energy savings.
The selected projects cover R&D in computational modeling and simulation for automation and equipment, steel fabrication processing, steel heat treatment processing, high-value petrochemicals, and waste heat minimization manufacturing.
The selected project recipients and DOE funding request:
Colorado School of Mines - Golden, CO
Ford Motor Company - Dearborn, MI
Novomer, Inc. - Ithaca, NY
TIAX LLC - Lexington, MA
University of Texas at Austin - Austin, TX
More information on all of EERE's innovative advanced manufacturing R&D projects
and more specific details on these new projects are available.