America Makes Announced a New, Five-Year Cooperative Agreement with the Air Force Research Laboratory

June 08, 2016 | Categories: America Makes News

New Award Demonstrates AFRL’s Recognition of the Institute’s Performance and Ongoing Sustainability

Youngstown, Ohio — June 8, 2016. America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), is pleased to announce a new, five-year Cooperative Agreement (CA) with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The CA is a Cost-Reimbursement/Cost Share agreement with an agreement value of up to a combined $75 million of government cost and America Makes cost share. The first project under the agreement is for developing additive manufacturing (AM) technologies for Air Force sustainment applications. It is anticipated that further special topic projects appropriate for a public-private partnership will be added as funding becomes available. This vehicle provides an opportunity for any government agency to partner with America Makes to address its AM and 3D printing (3DP) needs.

“We are beyond honored to receive this new CA from AFRL given the significance of such an Agreement to the Institute,” said Rob Gorham, America Makes Director of Operations. “Three and a half years ago, we launched an industrious and high-energy pace for what the Institute had to accomplish to ensure we fulfill the mission and meet public and private expectations. With the award of this CA, it underscores the impact that America Makes, managed by the NCDMM, has made it to become today’s leading and collaborative partner in additive manufacturing technologies.”

“AFRL values the specialized capabilities America Makes has for additive manufacturing research and development: streamlined access to national leaders in additive manufacturing research, development, and production; integration with the national additive manufacturing roadmap; rapid formation of integrated research teams; willingness to provide industry cost share; and commitment to disseminate research results for the benefit of the United States industrial base,” said Thomas Lockhart, AFRL Director of the Material and Manufacturing Directorate. “America Makes is a national asset with unique and specialized capabilities that the Air Force and other government agencies will need to access to address their R&D needs well into the future. It is in the best interests of the Air Force, in particular, and the government, in general, to ensure it maintains continued access to America Makes through an effective and efficient mechanism, such as the follow-on cooperative agreement awarded by AFRL.”

The new CA confirms the value of America Makes on many levels, namely the success of the private-public partnership model, the Institute’s performance and contributions to date, and the Institute’s ongoing sustainability. Moreover, this CA provides a streamlined contractual mechanism for future Institute collaborative efforts with its membership community to accelerate the development, transition, and use of innovative, cross-cutting AM / 3DP technologies in the United States through the execution and delivery AM / 3DP technology research projects, commercialization activities, and workforce, education, and outreach initiatives.

“This new CA with AFRL is a clear endorsement of the incredible value of a public-private partnership to advance the state-of-the-art in additive manufacturing within the United States,” said Ed Morris, America Makes Director and NCDMM Vice President. “Same as for the first CA, this new CA is in place to facilitate collaboration with all of our public partners. We jointly recognize the importance of this ongoing commitment to conduct additive manufacturing research and development, transition the technology to productive use, and develop the current and future additive manufacturing workforce. This is a long-term play—the impact will be felt by future generations of Americans.” Through effective collaboration, the NCDMM has established a new normal for public-private partnerships in what the NCDMM envisions as the pathway to reinvigorating the U.S. manufacturing base and enabling the return of manufacturing jobs for a sustainable U.S. economy.

“The public-private partnership model is working at an extraordinary level of collaboration among our more than 170 members,” added Gorham. “We’ve established an Additive Manufacturing Technology and Workforce/Education Roadmap to identify measurable and meaningful challenges that, when met, promote inquiry, knowledge-sharing, and technical and workforce advancements across the industry. The Technology and Workforce/Education Roadmap will continue to evolve and be prominent as we fulfill our mission. All of our funded, member-led applied research and development align with identified needs in the Roadmap to advance the technology.”

Additionally, the NCDMM has taken great care in planning for and executing against the Institute’s strategic future as a high-performing, sustainable, non-profit organization.

“From day one, the NCDMM has been committed to ensuring that a strong and proper foundation was in place for America Makes to operate successfully and sustainably and fulfill its mission of accelerating, maturing, transitioning, and commercializing critical technologies specific to additive manufacturing,” said Ralph Resnick, NCDMM President and Executive Director, and America Makes Founding Director. “We believe that early on we laid the proper groundwork for the Institute’s long-term viability. With the award of this new CA, it is evident that AFRL also sees the great value in America Makes, the public-private partnership model, and the Institute’s future potential and contributions.

The current management of America Makes is through the original CA with AFRL awarded in 2012 to the NCDMM to launch America Makes as the pilot institute for the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) infrastructure. The initial CA combined $55 million of funding from the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, and NASA with $55 million of cost share from industry, universities, and the States of Ohio and Pennsylvania.


About America Makes

America Makes is the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. As the national accelerator for additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing (3DP), America Makes is the nation’s leading and collaborative partner in AM and 3DP technology research, discovery, creation, and innovation. Structured as a public-private partnership with member organizations from industry, academia, government, non-government agencies, and workforce and economic development resources, we are working together to innovate and accelerate AM and 3DP to increase our nation’s global manufacturing competitiveness. Based in Youngstown, Ohio, America Makes is the flagship Institute for the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) infrastructure and is driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM). For more information about America Makes, visit


The NCDMM delivers optimized manufacturing solutions that enhance the quality, affordability, maintainability, and rapid deployment of existing and yet-to-be developed defense systems. This is accomplished through collaboration with government, industry, and academic organizations to promote the implementation of best practices to key stakeholders through the development and delivery of disciplined training, advanced technologies, and methodologies. For additional information, visit the NCDMM at

About AFRL

Headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, the Air Force Research Laboratory was created in October 1997 with the mission to lead the discovery, development, and integration of warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace forces. AFRL employs approximately 10,000 military and civilian personnel. It is responsible for managing and annual $4.4 billion (Fiscal Year 2014) science and technology program that includes both Air Force and customer funded research and development. AFRL investment includes basic research, applied research and advanced technology development in air, space, and cyber mission areas. For more information, visit