America Makes, in collaboration with fellow Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (MII) and the OSD Manufacturing Technology Program (ManTech), has announced the ‘Department of Defense (DoD) Organic Industrial Base (OIB) Modernization Challenge’ Project Call. This call addresses dual-use applications that cater to the specific needs of the DoD and the domestic manufacturing industry. The DoD anticipates awarding up to $2.5M in funding for this challenge, with individual project budgets not exceeding $500K.
From planes and tanks to Unmanned Aircraft Systems, MRAPs and beyond, past wars were fought and won by surging the industrial base to meet unanticipated wartime requirements. However, future wars will not solely depend on manufacturing efficiency but also on the speed and effectiveness of equipment modification, repair, and return to the battlefield. The Organic Industrial Base (OIB), with its depots, arsenals, and shipyards, plays a vital role in this regard. However, many of these facilities are aging and inefficient, facing significant challenges in their modernisation efforts.
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This project call is concentrated on a single Special Topic Area (STA) drawn from the DoD OIB, which includes 10 focus areas. Project teams can choose to address one or more of these focus areas. It’s crucial to remember that as of November 29, 2023, the project lead and all team members must be America Makes members in good standing.
The DoD OIB Modernization Challenge request for proposal (RFP) is separated into ten focus areas:
- Integrated hardware trackers
- Improved technology to modernise manufacturing processes
- Digitisation to combat “part-orphaning”
- Qualification/certification technology and processes for part production using data rather than testing
- Digitisation of the “shop floor”
- Development of the workforce in pursuit of the “Virtual Artisan”
- Novel disposal and/or recycling techniques/technologies to accommodate demilitarisation of equipment and munitions
- Manufacturing or automation equipment that can work in an intrinsically safe environment
- Development of digital Technical Data Packages
- Other: Proposers may submit a technology or process not addressed above if they deem it relevant to Organic Industrial Base modernisation efforts.
“It is an honour to lead this project call for the DoD and share this opportunity with our members who are committed to accelerating the use of Additive Manufacturing (AM) in the commercial and defence sectors and beyond,” stated John Wilczynski, Executive Director of America Makes. “Over the past decade, we have forged powerful alliances with trailblazers in the AM industry, government, and academia to harness their cutting-edge designs, intellectual property, and best practices to increase US competitiveness, resiliency, and security. This is yet another example of a funded effort that will challenge our membership and the industry-at-large.”
The proposal process includes two steps:
- Concept paper and quad submission chart are due, as outlined in the RFP, by November 29, 2023.
- Team presentation and supporting documentation submission (by invitation only) are due, as outlined in the RFP, by February 1, 2024.
Proposers for the project call are advised to reference the RFP for full details and guidelines, here.