July 17, 2020

For the fourth year in a row, DVIRC has been awarded a grant from the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) to help strengthen the capabilities and competitiveness of small and mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs) critical to the DoD supply chain. Through the project—known as the Manufacturing USA Access Project, or MAP— DVIRC will help SMMs learn about and invest in Advanced Manufacturing Technologies (AMTs), engage in internships to support their need for talent, and put in place cybersecurity systems to protect their operations.

The project builds on the successful work DVIRC completed in prior years, which put in place a regional and national ecosystem working to support and strengthen SMMs in the defense supply chain, spur innovation, and enhance their competitive advantage.

According to Barry Miller, President and CEO of DVIRC, “As a resource center committed to the growth of manufacturers in the region, DVIRC is committed to helping them sharpen their tools to become as competitive as possible, and to accelerate the rate at which they invest in AMTs and in the continuous improvement and skills of their workers.”

Through the MAP project, DVIRC will continue to focus its efforts on the following areas:

  • Market outreach and education on the importance of adopting AMTs
  • Working with SMMs on AMT-related project work, including helping them identify innovation opportunities that support DoD needs
  • Workforce development and education to support SMM’s critical needs for talent
  • Activities that support value-added work between and among the individual and institutional assets in the manufacturing ecosystem

The project will engage other technology resources—designers, makers, hardware entrepreneurs, institutions of higher education, Manufacturing USA Institutes, and third-party technology integrators—to help SMMs with one of the major constraints hindering AMT adoption: the lack of technical expertise necessary to fully realize the benefits of investing in new technologies.

Key goals for this year’s contract:

  • Identify Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) government needs and engage and support SMM applications to win awards
  • Conduct Market Research Study to identify specific market needs
  • Establish new school charters and partnerships
  • Establish Industry Advisory Council charter and work plan
  • Convene Advisory Council to:
    • Help DVIRC determine how best to support SMMs
    • Support AMT market education through presentations, facility tours, videos, conference panels,
      webinars, and networking
    • Provide input into a Physical Hub Plan to create a regional economic asset

Overview of DVIRC’s AMT Timeline:

  • 2016
    • DVIRC formed a National Advisory Committee to advise DVIRC on how to more aggressively support AMTs in its customer base
    • Report produced findings and recommendation to develop a strategy and plan
  • 2017
    • DVIRC awarded one year contract from DOD/OEA to fund the strategy and plan
    • DVIRC established and convened an ecosystem of regional and national partners to develop the plan and support the new model
  • 2018
    • DVIRC awarded 2nd contract to implement strategy
    • DVIRC charged with uniting the ecosystem of diverse stakeholders to fulfill three roles:
      • Inform: Better Inform stakeholders on cutting-edge AMTs’ applications and benefits
      • Advise: Advise stakeholders on tailored AMT business and technical cases
      • Implement: Implement AMT into stakeholders’ businesses for growth
  • 2019
    • DVIRC awarded 3rd DOD OEA contract to expand efforts undertaken in years 1-2. Goals included:
      • Educate the Market about the business benefits of AMTs
      • Develop and conduct AMT Readiness Assessments
      • Implement  AMT projects
      • Generate case studies
      • Conduct cybersecurity workshops and assessments
      • Establish a model and test pilot AMT workforce/talent pipeline
  • 2020
    • DVIRC awarded unprecedented 4th DOD OEA contract. Goals include:
      • Expand technical education and upskill incumbent workforce
      • Conduct AMT Readiness Assessments
      • Implement AMT projects
      • Develop and utilize AMT case studies

To learn more about our AMT work, click here.

For more information on how DVIRC can help SMMs further their AMT efforts, contact us.