Ross Brindle

Last week, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded 19 advanced manufacturing technology planning grants totaling $9 million to new and existing industry-led consortia as part of its new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) Program. I’m proud to announce that Nexight Group is part of two consortia involved in this effort to strengthen U.S. manufacturing and innovation across industries through technology roadmapping and planning.

NIST’s AMTech Program was established in 2013 with the goal of catalyzing partnerships between U.S. industry, academia, and government that will support efforts to meet the long-term research needs of the industry. Specifically, the program aims to enable new or strengthen existing industry-led consortia to help identify and prioritize research projects that reduce barriers to the growth of advanced manufacturing. We have written about the potential benefits of the AMTech Program in earlier blog posts.

While the 19 funded projects cover manufacturing and innovation across industries, there is one thing they all have in common: technology roadmapping. According to the NIST press release, “The AMTech awards provide incentives for partnerships to tackle the important jobs of planning, setting strategic manufacturing technology goals, and developing a shared vision of how to work collaboratively to get there,” said NIST Director Patrick Gallagher. “These are essential first steps toward building the research infrastructure necessary to sustain a healthy, innovative advanced manufacturing sector—one that invents, demonstrates, prototypes and produces here, in the U.S.”

Nexight Group brings our technology roadmapping expertise to two consortia:

  • Consortium for Additive Manufacturing Materials (CAMM) – Led by Penn State University, this consortium will drive materials innovation for additive manufacturing applications, initially focusing on developing new types of metals, polymers, and ceramics for additive manufacturing uses in the aerospace, biomedical, energy, and electronics industries. This project includes a comprehensive roadmapping effort to focus materials research and development efforts on these industries’ high-priority needs.
  • Thermal Manufacturing Industries Advanced Technology Consortium (TMI ATC) – This consortium, led by ASM International, will focus on the thermal processes that pervade U.S. manufacturing, such as melting, drying, smelting, heat treating, and curing. Representing all industries that use heat-driven processes as well as suppliers of thermal manufacturing equipment and services, this consortium will launch a roadmapping process that identifies common thermal manufacturing needs and challenges across the supply chain and delivers a unified set of research priorities and advanced-technology goals.

At Nexight, we specialize in technology roadmapping and know firsthand the power of our roadmap process to bring groups of people to actionable consensus. I look forward to engaging with the manufacturers, researchers, trade associations, and other stakeholders that are integral to this process and to facilitating a path forward for advanced manufacturing. Nexight Group is honored to play a role in strengthening our nation’s capability to innovate.