Today, the Department of Defense announced an $87 million, seven-year award to the BioIndustrial Manufacturing and Design Ecosystem (BioMADE), a nonprofit created by the Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC), for a new Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII). BioMADE, headquartered at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, will collaborate with public and private entities to advance sustainable and reliable bioindustrial manufacturing technologies.
“The Department of Defense is committed to promoting U.S. biotechnology innovation and securing America’s bioindustrial base. Through today’s award, we are pleased to work with new partners to accelerate the Department’s biotechnology modernization and the development of this field which is so critical to our Nation’s future security and prosperity,” said Michael Kratsios, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.
In support of this collaboration, the $87M in DoD funding will be combined with over $187M in non-federal cost-share from 31 companies, 57 colleges and universities, six nonprofits, and two venture capital groups across 31 states.
Through a close relationship with DoD and the Military Services, BioMADE will work to establish long-term and dependable bioindustrial manufacturing capabilities for a wide array of products. Anticipated bioindustrial manufacturing applications include the following products: chemicals, solvents, detergents, reagents, plastics, electronic films, fabrics, polymers, agricultural products (e.g., feedstock), crop protection solutions, food additives, fragrances, and flavors.
The Institute’s efforts will examine and advance industry-wide standards, tools, and measurements; mature foundational technologies; foster a resilient bioindustrial manufacturing ecosystem; advance education and workforce development; and support the establishment and growth of supply chain intermediaries that are essential for a robust U.S. bioeconomy. Other important focus areas include challenges related to biosafety and security and ethical, legal, and societal considerations.
BioMADE joins a network of eight additional MIIs established by DoD to leverage innovation and commercial best practices in the advancement of the United States’ competitive technology lead and national security interests. Beginning in 2012, with the additive manufacturing institute America Makes, the Office of the Secretary of Defense Manufacturing Technology (OSD ManTech) Office established the MIIs with the purpose of bringing “leap-ahead” technology to the Warfighter while laying groundwork for commercial adoption by the private sector.
The new Institute adds to existing DoD MII investments already totaling over $1B in initial and follow-on federal investment and $1.74B matching funds from industry, academia, and state governments. Additionally, DoD and the Military Services have sponsored over 865 education and research and development projects at the Institutes. Currently, over 1,270 organizations participate in the DoD MIIs. The participating organizations vary in size and comprise defense industry partners, commercial manufacturers, start-up businesses, higher education institutions, and state and local economic developers.
The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)) is responsible for research, development, and prototyping activities across DoD. OUSD(R&E) fosters technological advancement across DoD to ensure the long-term superiority of the American joint force. Learn more at www.cto.mil/ or follow us on Twitter: @DoDCTO.