NIST Offers Grants For Consortia To Address Technological Barriers In Advanced Manufacturing

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced a competition for grants to support new or existing industry-driven consortia to develop research plans that address high-priority challenges impeding the growth of advanced manufacturing in the United States.

NIST’s new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) Program anticipates awarding $4 million in two-year planning grants in fiscal year 2013. Grants will range between about $250,000 and $500,000, subject to the availability of funds.

Funded by Congress this fiscal year, AMTech will spur consortia-planned and led research on long-term, pre-competitive industrial research needs. The program aims to eliminate barriers to advanced manufacturing and to promote domestic development of an underpinning technology infrastructure.

AMTech is designed to address an economically damaging weakness in the nation’s so-called innovation ecosystem, an issue identified by the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and other bodies.

According to the NSTC, there is a gap between R&D activities and the deployment of technological innovations in the domestic production of goods, which is contributing significantly, for example, to the growing trade deficit in high-value-added, advanced-technology products.

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