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NSF Advanced Manufacturing Program and Research Opportunities

Category: Technology Intelligence Feb 18, 2021

2021 AMT Technology Forum: Research By Industry, For Industry

The AMT Technology Forum returns in 2021 as a virtual conference on IMTS spark. Taking place Feb. 22 and 24, the forum hosts 12 presentations on peer-reviewed research with an emphasis on applied research or implementation of new technologies, including artificial intelligence, standards, additive manufacturing, blockchain, and more.

3D-printable material that mimics biological tissues, a tactile robot finger with no blind spots, nanoscale sensors that can see how high pressure affects materials, and exciting research in the areas of artificial intelligence and cybermanufacturing are just a few of the research projects in advanced manufacturing that are being funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Through funding support by NSF, researchers at Columbia University Engineering developed an optical tactile finger with a sense of touch.
Courtesy: National Science Foundation.

Dr. Khershed Cooper, program director at NSF, will discuss the many funding opportunities in basic research available at the NSF. Given the agency’s size and its multiple directorates, divisions, and programs, it can be daunting for the uninitiated to navigate all the possible funding opportunities. Dr. Cooper will zero in on opportunities in the Engineering Directorate’s Division of Civil, Mechanical & Manufacturing Innovation’s Advanced Manufacturing and related programs.

Programs in these areas support basic research by awarding funding to universities, colleges, community colleges, and technical colleges; non-profits; and non-academic organizations, such as research laboratories associated with educational organizations. Although not awarded directly to private sector companies, they can share in the research through public-private collaboration.

“Funded research must be designed to advance manufacturing or materials processing, accelerate product development, increase production efficiency, reduce production costs, or in some other way, serve to advance the industry,” said Dr. Cooper.

Recent grants awarded in advanced manufacturing include basic research on manufacturing systems and equipment, cybermanufacturing systems, materials engineering and processing, and nanomanufacturing. Proposals of all sizes are accepted, and funding ranges from $300,000-$600,000 for a three-year period.

Dr. Cooper will also overview and answer questions about the Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) program, which seeks to stimulate collaboration between academic research institutions and private industry, including collaboration with the 16 Manufacturing USA institutes; grants available through the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP); and a new program, Future Manufacturing (FM), which funds research to enable manufacturing that does not exist today.

To add this presentation to your MySpark planner or read more about Dr. Cooper, visit

To see the full agenda for the AMT Technology Forum, visit

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