National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) Updates
We start 2013 anew with less than a month before the first NAMII project proposals are due (1/31/13). NAMII has a set Executive Committee being led by Dr. John Russell (Program Manager, Defense-Wide Manufacturing Science anzd Technology) from Office of Secretary Defense / Air Force Research Laboratory. In this edition of the Additive Supplement I wanted to take the opportunity to bring folks up to speed on NAMII’s progress.
Background – For those asking what is “NAMII” and why is it an initiative; here is a quick summary. The what: NAMII is the pilot initiative to pioneer a potential number of National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) institutes that are meant to foster manufacturing advancements (from technology to workforce) necessary to improve American manufacturing competitiveness. The why: NAMII’s singular focus is to accelerate additive manufacturing technologies to the U.S. manufacturing sector and increase domestic manufacturing competitiveness. For more on NNMI please visit: http://www.manufacturing.gov/nnmi.html and for more on NAMII (including project proposal and membership processes) please visit: http://namii.org/.
Updates – NAMII is working toward an integrated approach to better serve the additive technology community. One of the key elements is a partnership between government, university and the private sector to bridge a gap (see Figure 1) that has been identified from a readiness / transition perspective. ￼
Figure 1 Gap in Manufacturing Innovation
Stakeholders interested in filling this gap have multiple needs. The government wants to increase American manufacturing competitiveness; universities and other educational institutions want to conduct beneficial research and develop / sustain a workforce; and the private sector wants to improve the level of readiness for transition and insertion of developed technologies (including ensuring a proper workforce is available to improve productivity and product offerings).
NAMII has evolved toward a more stakeholder-centric model to support an optimal approach to filling the “gap” and to ensuring appropriate developments occur at the institute. The Executive Committee continues efforts to finalize the Operating Plan (how NAMII is run) and Membership Agreement (defines eligibility, responsibility, member lifecycle) to ensure initial and subsequent member interests are accommodated. Figure 2 depicts the expected dialogue between stakeholders which highlights the importance of both the Operating Plan and Membership Agreement. ￼
Figure 2 NAMII Stakeholder Coordination Model
NAMII has its next challenge ahead when it reviews proposals and selects its first projects to fund. It will be a litmus test for the Operating Plan and stakeholder coordination. I am looking forward to what proposers deliver and what NAMII selects, but more importantly I am looking forward to further enable an already exciting field such as additive manufacturing.
For more information about NAMII or Additive Technologies contact me at tshinbara@AMTonline.org or phone at 703-827-5243.