ASTRO America wins development award to advance Additive Manufacturing in Florida

May 17, 2023

The Applied Science & Technology Research Organization of America (ASTRO America), based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, has been awarded a $1 Million grant from the US National Science Foundation’s Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines) programme. ASTRO America is among over forty teams, spanning a broad range of states and regions, that will receive one of the first-ever NSF Engines Development Awards.

ASTRO America’s initiative, entitled ‘Advancing Additive Manufacturing Technologies,’ aims to accelerate supply chains’ adoption of Additive Manufacturing across Florida and help grow capabilities in aerospace, defence, and energy sectors. With this grant, ASTRO America will leverage its AM Forward partnership with several major corporations to support the state’s small and medium sized suppliers transition to Additive Manufacturing.

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“Florida remains on the cutting edge of science and technology,” said Neal Orringer, President of ASTRO America. “This initiative will spur further innovation in the field of 3D printing across the State. It will also support job creation and grow a new generation of engineers and technicians. We could not have better partners in this endeavour than Florida’s universities and business community. We look forward to working with the State and other stakeholders to build a regional innovation engine.”

ASTRO America’s team for this project includes five of the US’s leading minority serving institutions (MSIs) to coordinate support for small business suppliers’ adoption of AM, including Florida International University, the joint Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering, the University of Central Florida, and the University of Florida.

The awards aim to help partners collaborate to create economic, societal, and technological opportunities for their regions as well as develop their local innovation ecosystems within two years to prepare strong proposals for becoming future NSF Engines, each having the opportunity to receive up to $160 million.

“These NSF Engines Development Awards lay the foundation for emerging hubs of innovation and potential future NSF Engines,” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. “These awardees are part of the fabric of NSF’s vision to create opportunities everywhere and enable innovation anywhere. They will build robust regional partnerships rooted in scientific and technological innovation in every part of our nation. Through these planning awards, NSF is seeding the future for in-place innovation in communities and to grow their regional economies through research and partnerships. This will unleash ideas, talent, pathways and resources to create vibrant innovation ecosystems all across our nation.”

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