The Department of Defense today announced the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation award of six (6) grants totaling approximately $30 million under the Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program. The Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program makes long-term investments in critical skills, facilities, workforce development, research and development, and small business support in order to strengthen the national security innovation base.
On August 16, 2022, Dr. William A. LaPlante, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, designated six consortia as Defense Manufacturing Communities and instructed the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation to invite them to submit grant applications based upon the competitiveness of their respective scopes and funding in response to the May 20, 2022, Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program Notice of Funding Opportunity.
The awards derive from Fiscal Year 2022 appropriated funding and leverage an additional $9,570,929 million in non-Federal funds for a total investment of $39,314,390.
“The Department needs to implement a whole-of-nation manufacturing strategy by collaborating with public, private, and academic partners,” LaPlante said. “These Defense Manufacturing Consortia will do just that by working to accelerate the development of critical minerals, help to build up the nation’s shipbuilding workforce, enhance cybersecurity efforts, increase energy storage technologies, and accelerate microelectronic and semiconductor processes – all national security priorities.”
“A resilient and advanced manufacturing base is critical to our mission of defending this nation and protecting our people,” added LaPlante. “In addition to enhancing our domestic supply chains and reducing our dependence on foreign materials, building strong manufacturing partnerships bolsters innovation and competition and generates a skilled and diverse talent pipeline.”
The grant awards are as follows:
- $4,999,634 to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security-led Mississippi-Shipbuilding Industry Preparedness for National Security Consortium to undertake a $6,694,579 project to bolster national security by modernizing Mississippi’s shipbuilding industry by enhancing sector capacity, capability, competitiveness, and resiliency. The project will create a skilled and diverse talent pipeline for the region’s shipbuilding industry, accelerate adoption of Industry 4.0 manufacturing practices in the shipbuilding supply chain, and develop advanced solutions designed to enhance worker safety. Consortium members will implement regionally-tailored strategies in support of each goal, ensuring partners have a broad reach and a lasting impact.
- $5,000,000 to the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois-led Illinois Defense Manufacturing Consortium (ILDMC) to undertake a $6,603,250 project to launch a Casting, Forging, and Energy Storage Center of Excellence to introduce new offerings, comprehensive solutions, innovative manufacturing technologies, and state-of-the-art workforce training modules targeting underrepresented populations. The ILDMC will ensure that the casting and forging industry is more productive, innovative, and focused on Department of Defense needs.
- $5,000,000 to the University of Rhode Island Research Foundation-led Rhode Island Manufacturing to Accelerate the Defense Ecosystem Consortium to undertake a $6,500,000 project to address weaknesses in the maritime defense industrial base through strengthening workforce training or retraining or recruitment and retention, and expanding small business assistance to support automation, robotics, and cyber resiliency. The project will provide intensive technical assistance to a minimum of 25 small businesses, educate and train 675 students and workers using Manufacturing Innovation Institute enhanced offerings, and launch an innovative Education to Assessment model to enhance assessment capability and supplier matching for Department of Defense supply chain companies.
- $5,000,000 to the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc.-led New Jersey Defense Manufacturing Community Consortium to undertake a $6,500,000 project to support Picatinny Arsenal’s Joint Center of Excellence for Guns and Ammunition to fill key advanced manufacturing technology needs and to create transition opportunities for new defense technologies. The project will support ecosystem capacity building in technology-driven market intelligence and focus on workforce training, retraining, or recruitment and retention, including that of women, underrepresented minorities, and veterans, military personnel, and their family members, transitioning into manufacturing careers.
- $4,743,827 to SAE Government Technologies-led Supply Chain of Recovered Elements Consortium (SCORE) to undertake a $6,316,561 project to accelerate the development of domestic manufacturing supply chains for critical minerals by engaging in parallel development with organizations across upstream and downstream segments, achieving commercial capacities in a matter of years, not decades. Through the implementation of new modular, advanced, and highly selective separation technologies, SCORE will utilize mine and industrial waste to build a fully capable domestic supply chain and trained workforce that requires no new mining and no foreign processing. The first focus of SCORE will be the extraction of scandium and integration into the aluminum alloys supply chain, supporting domestic manufacturing through castings, welding, and additive (3D printing) pathways. SCORE will achieve a sustainable manufacturing supply chain within three years in the five-state region of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
- $5,000,000 to the University of Texas at Austin-led Microelectronics Precision Rapid Innovation and Scaling Manufacturing Network Consortium to undertake a $6,700,000 project to provide accelerated processes for advanced microelectronics research and commercialization, business incubation and acceleration, services to small businesses and supply chain development with new levels of integration and sustainability, in a region that encompasses some of the nation’s leading semiconductor and defense industry assets and skilled workforce.
The Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program is authorized by Section 846 of Public Law 115-232, which enabled the Secretary of Defense to establish a program to designate and support consortiums as Defense Manufacturing Communities to strengthen the national security industrial base.
For additional information about these programs visit the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation website at https://oldcc.gov/defense-manufacturing-community-support-program.