The Department of Defense announced Feb. 21 that it has awarded $10 million in funding to the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), with an option of $20 million more over the upcoming five years to lead the digital future of manufacturing This award is part of a new multi-year follow-on agreement with a ceiling of $60 million of government funding.
The Defense Department said it will continue the strategic partnership with DMDII for the long term as part of the effort to reform the department for better performance and affordability in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The Department of Defense wants to reaffirm our strategic relationship with the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute. We are working together to develop cutting-edge digital technology and investing in a robust research and development infrastructure to promote global competitiveness on the part of U.S. manufacturers,” stated Robert Gold, Director, Technology & Manufacturing Industrial Base.
Founded in 2014, DMII has invested approximately $94 million in more than 60 applied research projects nationwide. DMDII collaborates with the U.S Army’s Rock Island Arsenal, the nation’s largest government-owned weapons manufacturer with the aim of getting equipment to U.S. warfighters more quickly. The arsenal and DMDII have used 3-D modeling to assess the arsenal’s manufacturing processes.
“American manufacturing must remain competitive since it underpins national and economic security,” said Tracy Frost, the Pentagon’s director of the DoD Manufacturing Institutes and its Manufacturing Technology program.
DMDII’s mission is to enable U.S. manufacturers to make every part better than the last. That requires production lines to be embedded with software and sensors that connect to a network. The ability of manufacturing equipment to send and receive data in real-time will enable the equipment to improve manufacturing processes while learning from every part produced.