Nanotechnology Community Alert: President Proposes Creation of 45 New Manufacturing Centers Around U.S.


DOD & DOE requesting information on new focus areas, many relevant to nano-enabled technologies

The President of the United States has launched a major, new initiative focused on strengthening the innovation, performance, competitiveness, and job-creating power of U.S. manufacturing called the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). The NNMI is comprised of Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation (IMIs); the President has proposed establishing up to 45 IMIs around the country.

Both the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Energy (DOE) have published Requests for Information (RFIs) regarding the IMIs. These are available on FedBizOps and, respectively.

The IMIs will be regionally centered public private partnerships enabling the scale-up of advanced manufacturing technologies and processes, with the goal of successful transition of existing science and technology into the marketplace for both defense and commercial applications. The purpose of these RFIs is to consider input from industry and academia as part of an effort to select and scope the technology focus areas for future IMIs.

The DOD’s RFI originally sought information about the following technical focus areas: DOD logo

  • Flexible Hybrid Electronics
  • Photonics (now closed)
  • Engineered Nanomaterials
  • Fiber and Textiles
  • Electronic Packaging and Reliability
  • Aerospace Composites

Submissions received to date relevant to the Photonics topic have been deemed sufficient and this topic area is now closed; all other areas remain open.

The DOE’s RFI seeks to narrow the focus of a possible Clean Energy Manufacturing Institute and invites discussion on the following focus areas:DOE logo

  • Advance Materials Manufacturing
  • Advanced Sensing, Control, and Platforms for Manufacturing
  • High-Efficiency Modular Chemical Processes
  • High-Value Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing

The RFIs contain detailed descriptions of the focus areas along with potential applications, market opportunities, and discussion of current and future Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs). The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office encourages interested members of the nanotechnology community to view and respond to the RFIs as appropriate. The IMI institutes have the potential to provide game-changing resources and foster exciting new partnerships for the nanotechnology community.

The current closing dates are 3 October 2014 for the DOE RFI and 10 October 2014 for the DOD RFI. Additional details can be found in the RFIs and the respective amendments.