East Tennessee region wins $2.4M for Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping Center of East Tennessee
A $2.4 million grant to establish the Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping Center of East Tennessee (AMP!) was announced recently by its funding agencies. Led by Tech 20/20, in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Pellissippi State and the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services, the grant will serve a 20-county area spanning East Tennessee.
"Tech 20/20 is excited to lead this multi-agency, multi-organization initiative" said John Morris, CEO of Tech 20/20. "Our regional future depends on leveraging the assets we currently enjoy. The U.S Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office's Manufacturing Demonstration Facility is the cornerstone of a job creating cluster that will drive economic prosperity throughout the region."
The 20-county regional award brings focus to DOE's Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL and builds a cluster around development of advanced manufacturing processes.
"This initiative will provide another opportunity for ORNL work with our regional partners to translate its world-class research into commercial applications that will create new jobs and help strengthen manufacturing in the U.S.," said Tom Rogers, Director of Industrial Partnerships and Economic Development of ORNL.
The AMP! project will create jobs, grow the economy, and enhance the global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers by harnessing the potential of advanced manufacturing technologies. At the core of the AMP! project are four primary objectives:
• Development of a collaborative network of manufacturers throughout the region
• Development of a skilled and diverse workforce that will drive innovation and expand entrepreneurship
• Innovation and improvement of manufacturing processes and technologies
• Alignment of current advanced manufacturing curriculum to new and emerging technologies and processes
"AMP! will provide leadership and become the mechanism that connects colleges with industry, students with mentors, industries with entrepreneurs, federal facilities with private industry, and suppliers with manufacturers," said Buzz Patrick, Direct of Advanced Manufacturing with Tech 20/20. "These collaborations drive to develop solutions to real world problems, expanding the advanced manufacturing cluster throughout the AMP! region."
"We look forward to working with our partners to help manufacturers across the region access AMP! resources that will produce new products, business growth and job creation," said Paul Jennings, Executive Director for the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services.
"Additive Manufacturing Education has been identified by the current administration and by the Roadmap to Additive Manufacturing to be at a critical crossroads in the United States; we are pleased to be working in this partnership to provide students with more comprehensive and up-to-date skills and experiences. Pellissippi State Community College's core mission includes training and workforce development that is responsive to the needs of our community. We are always excited to receive access to resources that allow us to be innovative and cutting edge," said Teri Brahams, Executive Director, Economic and Workforce Development for Pellissippi State Community College.
The award is part of a $20 million multi-agency announcement that 10 public-private partnerships across America will receive to help revitalize American manufacturing and encourage companies to invest in the United States.
"This award by the Small Business Administration and federal partner agencies recognizes a strong commitment in Tennessee to the manufacturing sector," said Walter Perry, District Director of the SBA's Tennessee District Office. "This will help create jobs and enhance manufacturing making it very attractive to small business manufacturers who can benefit from the AMP! Program.
The 10 partnerships were selected through the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge, which is a competitive multi-agency grant process announced in May 2012 to support initiatives that strengthen advanced manufacturing at the local level.
Source: Tech 20/20