Documents/NNMI/1: Innovation & Scale-Up

1: Innovation & Scale-Up

Accelerate manufacturing innovation and scale up by investing in industrially-relevant, cross-cutting product and process technologies.

Other Information:

The IMIs will bring together industry, universities and community colleges, Federal agencies, States, and localities to accelerate manufacturing innovation and scale up by investing in industrially-relevant, cross-cutting product and process technologies. These stakeholders will co-invest with the Federal Government in each IMI, forming a strong partnership between industrial and other stakeholders to catalyze a renaissance in advanced manufacturing activity.


  • Institutes for Manufacturing InnovationIMIs will be long-term partnerships between industry and academia (including universities and community colleges) enabled by Federal, State, and local governments. In order to advance American domestic manufacturing, they will have a sustained focus on manufacturing technology innovation with a strong brand identity and reputation. They will identify critical manufacturing processes and technologies with potential transformational impact, and through their member companies, they will have the capacity to translate these technologies into market-relevant private-sector manufacturing production. IMIs will facilitate the formation of effective teams of industrial and academic experts from multiple disciplines to solve difficult problems, from pre-competitive industrially relevant research to proprietary technology development for product manufacturing. Through dual appointment of faculty and students in both research universities and Institutes, they will develop leaders familiar with research applications, new technologies, and production systems. They will engage and assist SMEs in applying and adapting new process technologies by providing technical assistance, highly trained personnel, and access to shared equipment and infrastructure. IMIs will provide education and training opportunities to build and enhance the skills of the manufacturing workforce.

  • National Additive Manufacturing Innovation InstituteNational Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute -- the Pilot Institute In March 2012, when President Obama unveiled his proposal to build the NNMI, he also initiated steps to jumpstart the NNMI with a Pilot Institute. The Pilot Institute would serve as a proof-of-concept for the NNMI Institutes. A collaborative interagency team was convened and determined that the topic of Additive Manufacturing would garner the most benefit for the defense, energy, space, and commercial sectors of the nation, and should be the focus of the Pilot Institute. Additive Manufacturing, also commonly known as 3D printing, is an emerging and evolving collection of manufacturing processes that build metal, plastic, or ceramic parts using layer-by-layer build-up techniques, precisely placing material as directed, based on a software representation of the three-dimensional part geometry... While NAMII is the Pilot Institute, it differs from the proposed IMIs in several important ways. The focus area was pre-defined based on agency needs, funding was obtained from multiple agencies, and the partner agencies set the capitalization at a significantly lower level than is envisioned for an IMI... summary, NAMII was formed in parallel with the ongoing effort to architect the broader NNMI and hence is technically not part of a yet-to-be-formed network. However, it represents a critically important seeding of the concept and its construction and early activities are helping to inform the design and development of the full NNMI enterprise.

  • DODThe competition for the Pilot Institute was launched through a DOD Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) in May 2012. Proposals for the Pilot Institute were due on June 16, and the award to the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) was announced on August 16, 2012 [36]. NAMII is headquartered in Youngstown, Ohio, and it is comprised of a broad coalition of more than 80 companies, 9 research universities, 6 community colleges, and 18 not-for-profit institutions.

  • Interagency Advisory Council of Technical ExpertsProposal evaluations were conducted by an interagency advisory council of technical experts from the DOC, DOD, DOE, NASA, and NSF. Based on the evaluation process stated within the BAA, the advisory council selected the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) to manage the Pilot Institute. This public-private partnership between NCDMM and the Government was awarded as a cooperative agreement using $30 million of Federal funding and an additional $39 million provided as cost share, mostly from industry and the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

  • DOC

  • DOE

  • NASA

  • NSF

  • National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM)

  • State GovernmentsThis long-term, public-private partnership between State and local governments, industry, and academia (including research universities and community colleges) is enabled by the Federal Government and, as such, DOD and other partnering agencies used cooperative agreements (rather than grants or contracts) to fund the government portion. A governance board along with an executive committee and technical advisory board comprised of industry, academia, and government representatives oversee the Institute's activities. Using a cooperative agreement also allows for substantial involvement by the Federal Government, and is consistent with the broad interest in additive manufacturing across the multiple agencies that collaborated to launch the pilot initiative.

  • Local Governments

  • Industry

  • Academia

  • IMI Partners & MembersThe acceleration of innovation for advanced manufacturing in order to advance American domestic manufacturing requires bridging a number of gaps in the present U.S. innovation system. Each Institute will be based upon concepts of open innovation and partnerships.

  • U.S. Not-for-Profit InstitutionsInstitutes should be led by an independent, U.S. not-for-profit institution with the capacity to lead an industry-wide technology, workforce development, and infrastructure agenda.

  • UniversitiesAlthough other lead organizations (such as universities) are not prohibited, many workshop participants and RFI respondents expressed concern about the treatment of intellectual property, confidentiality, tax-exempt status, and timely responses if universities were allowed to lead Institutes.

  • StatesPartners in the Institute should include the full range of national, State, and local stakeholders.

  • Local Governments

  • Manufacturing EnterprisesThis includes manufacturing enterprises of all sizes including startups.

  • Institutions of Higher EducationIn addition, a diverse set of institutions of higher education including both research universities and community colleges should be included.

  • Community Colleges

  • Research OrganizationsOther partners may include research organizations (including Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, subject to statutory or regulatory restrictions); national laboratories or government agencies (subject to funding restrictions); career and technical institutions; State, regional, and local public and private entities that support industrial clusters and associated economic development partnerships; unions; professional and industry associations; other not-for-profit organizations; and the general public. To help ensure a broad impact, Institutes should openly encourage the addition of new partners and participants wherever relevant through well-defined mechanisms.

  • Federally Funded Research and Development Centers

  • National Laboratories

  • Government Agencies

  • Career Institutions

  • Technical Institutions

  • State Entitiesthat support industrial clusters and associated economic development partnerships

  • Regional Entitiesthat support industrial clusters and associated economic development partnerships

  • Local Public Entitiesthat support industrial clusters and associated economic development partnerships

  • Private Entitiesthat support industrial clusters and associated economic development partnerships

  • Professional Associations

  • Industry Associations

  • The General Public

  • Research CentersTo effectively leverage existing national capabilities and centers of excellence, Institutes are envisioned to be hubs that link the national and international resources that exist within the area of focus of the Institute. To this end, Institutes should seek to benefit and leverage the various centers and research institutions funded through existing Federal programs, such as the NSF Engineering Research Centers (ERC) and Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) programs. These programs focus teams of faculty and students on research that provides opportunities to advance technology for their member firms through formalized partnerships with industry.

  • Research Institutions

  • NSF Engineering Research Centers (ERC)

  • Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC)

  • Pre-College StudentsThe ERCs have education programs that create pathways to engineering for pre-college students.

  • Pre-College TeachersThese programs also support pre-college teachers to learn engineering concepts at the centers and develop course materials to bring engineering to pre-college classrooms.

  • Non-Domestic OrganizationsParticipation in an Institute by a non-domestic organization will be allowed only when in the economic interest of the United States. This would be demonstrated by that organization's investments in the United States in research, development, and manufacturing; significant contributions to employment in the United States; and commitment that any technology arising from or assisted by the Institute be used to promote domestic manufacturing activities. Participation restrictions for non-domestic organizations may exist in some circumstances.