Source: DOE | Release | October 2, 2020
Today, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) celebrates Manufacturing Day, when manufacturers across America inspire the next generation of skilled workers by showing the public what modern manufacturing looks like. Manufacturing is fundamental to economic prosperity and national security in the United States. The industry is continuously improving as new technologies and innovations arise, creating opportunities for new product development, increased productivity, and more skilled jobs. It also remains resourceful and resilient despite the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bolstering domestic manufacturing is a top priority for the Trump Administration. The Department of Energy will continue to invest in new industrial technologies, materials, and processes to support the U.S. industrial base. AMO is particularly focused on making manufacturing technologies and processes more efficient and resilient.
The country owes a great deal to the 12 million workers whose passion and ingenuity make American manufacturing globally competitive. AMO supports these workers through strategic investments across a wide range of advanced manufacturing technologies. Recent examples include:
- In May, DOE announced a $67 million funding opportunity to stimulate technology innovation, improve the energy productivity of American manufacturing, and enable the manufacturing of cutting-edge products in the United States.
- In May, DOE announced up to $30 million in funding for research and development that focuses on field validation and demonstration, as well as next-generation extraction, separation, and processing technologies for critical materials.
- In May, DOE selected the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII), a public-private consortium, to advance cybersecurity in energy-efficient manufacturing, with funding up to $70 million, pending appropriations.
- In July, DOE announced a $20 million funding opportunity to develop technology innovations that strengthen America’s water infrastructure and enable advanced water resource recovery systems that have the potential to be net energy positive.
- In September 2019, DOE selected the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) to lead an Energy-Water Desalination Hub to address water security issues in the United States, with funding up to $100 million, pending appropriations.
In addition to investing in emerging industrial technologies, AMO supports the men and women of America’s manufacturing sector through continued investments in workforce-development programs and skills training for current and future manufacturing workers, as well as partnerships with DOE National Laboratories, companies, state and local governments, and universities. For example:
- All six of the DOE Manufacturing USA Institutes are developing programs to train the manufacturing workforce and catalyze regional economic development.
- For forty years, the Industrial Assessment Centers (IAC) have combined energy management and workforce development, where students conduct free energy assessments and help companies save money.
- An AMO-funded graduate-level traineeship program, led by Georgia Tech, helps prepare the next generation of professionals to use the emerging manufacturing tools.
- The Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program provides an institutional home for innovative postdoctoral researchers to build their research into products and train to be entrepreneurs.
- The Better Plants program, which partners with leading manufacturers and water utilities to improve energy efficiency and competitiveness, provides in-plant trainings and access to other resources.
Manufacturing Day certainly looks different this year, with many manufacturers substituting their usual in-person tours and exhibits with virtual opportunities. Later today, DOE will participate in a virtual event entitled, “High-Performance Computing for Manufacturing Industry Day.” Hosted by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the event will include a three-hour plenary session in which industry experts discuss how the program has helped industry meet its technical and business objectives while saving energy. AMO will highlight how high-performance computing is helping AMO achieve its energy goals.
AMO is pleased to support the many companies, academic institutions, students, and workers around the country who are paving the way for the next generation of manufacturers. Together, we can build a community of innovative thinkers and leaders ready to take on new challenges and modernize manufacturing to secure a more prosperous America.