NAMII Commemorates First Anniversary!

August 16, 2013 | Categories: America Makes News

Youngstown,Ohio— August 16, 2013. NAMII, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, and driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), is proud to commemorate its first anniversary since official award.

It was a year ago today that Frank Kendall III, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics along with Dr. Rebecca Blank, Acting Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Secretary of Commerce; and Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, made the official announcement in Youngstown, awarding NCDMM with the management of NAMII as the pilot institute for up to 15 National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) institutes to follow.

“It is somewhat surreal to believe that a year has passed since NAMII’s founding,” said Ralph Resnick, NCDMM President and Executive Director, and NAMII Founding Director. “When the award of NAMII to NCDMM came on this day last year, I’m not sure that any of us could have fully imagined just how incredibly transformative the next 12 months would be and the impact it would have on our industry, our organization, our region, and our country. From the beginning, NCDMM established an industrious and high-energy pace for NAMII. It is very rewarding to look back on the last year and appreciate the enormity of the impact NAMII has made. I want to commend the NAMII leadership team. Led by Ed Morris with support from his deputy directors, Darrell Wallace, PhD.; Rob Gorham; and Bill Macy, they each have made substantial contributions to NAMII and have been instrumental in NAMII’s success to date. I also want recognize our founding deputy directors: Gary Fleegle; Howard Kuhn, Ph.D.; and Debbie Holton. They contributed much during NAMII’s initial start-up phase and established a solid foundation for their successors.”

“I am also tremendously proud and, in many respects, in awe of all that NAMII has achieved,” said NAMII Director and NCDMM Vice President Ed Morris. “There’s no question that NAMII has attained its goal of becoming a national center of excellence for additive manufacturing. Our public-private partnership model is working with an extraordinary level of collaboration among our members. We continue to steadily gain new members and currently, we are 80 members strong. NAMII is making great strides and progress in our thrust areas of technology development, technology transition, advanced manufacturing enterprise, and education/workforce outreach. In the upcoming weeks, we also anticipate the announcement of our second call for additive manufacturing applied research and development projects. I want to extend my appreciation to the entire NAMII team and our members for all their efforts and contributions to NAMII’s success.”

Jennifer Chase Fielding, Ph.D., NAMII Program Manager and Deputy Program Manager, Defense-wide Manufacturing Science and Technology, Manufacturing Technology Division at Air Force Research Laboratory AFRL/RXMS, is in complete agreement with both Mr. Resnick’s and Mr. Morris’ assessment of NAMII’s first year.

“The first year of NAMII was a year of extreme accomplishment,” said Dr. Fielding. “As I look back on what has been accomplished, I am still in shock to think that NAMII did not even exist a year ago. The Administration announced the idea of doing a pilot institute for the NNMI back in March 2012. By March of this year, NAMII was already up and running with most of the staff in place and active, industry-driven research and development projects producing results. That was incredible progress and we have not slowed down that pace!

“Overall, I have been extremely thrilled with the level of progress over the last year from all participants in NAMII,” continued Dr. Fielding. “NAMII has shown how a public-private partnership can really enable a community to come together surrounding an important initiative: To accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing and 3D printing within theU.S.We have seen great involvement from government scientists and engineers, industry, academic leaders, and economic development organizations and they have all contributed to where we are today. I am very excited for the coming year.”

The sense of pride and achievement is also evident in the comments made by NAMII’s deputy directors as they reflected upon the last year.

“It has been a great privilege and an amazing honor to be involved in NAMII’s success from the very beginning — from contributing to NCDMM’s proposal for the award of NAMII and agreeing to serve as a founding deputy director to staying on in a deputy director capacity in workforce and educational outreach,” said Darrell Wallace, Ph.D. “It is truly exciting to see NAMII come into its own as a national center for excellence in additive manufacturing. A year ago, our facility was an abandoned warehouse. Today, it’s a state-of-the-art educational lab where a few days ago 15 children, ages 7 to 11, attended a NAMII-sponsored summer camp that I had the opportunity to lead. I was able to teach the next generation about additive manufacturing and 3D printing, make this cutting-edge technology accessible to them, watch them create and print parts, and observe them fully embracing and being excited by this technology. As I look ahead to next year, I believe NAMII will undoubtedly become increasingly busier as we witness an astonishing growth in awareness and adoption of additive manufacturing technologies.”

For Rob Gorham, NAMII Deputy Director of Technology Developments, NAMII’s impact to date is substantial.

“From my perspective, our innovative approach to capturing the voice of our community through active collaboration and engagement at 2013 RAPID was a huge achievement,” offered Mr. Gorham. “NAMII demonstrated to our community that we are committed to understanding the needs and challenges of our industry so we can lead the way in the identification of economic opportunities, bring resolution to current challenges faced by our industry, refine the project areas NAMII pursues, and accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing technologies in the manufacturing sector and beyond. With the invaluable insight we gained at RAPID and from our recent roadmapping workshops, NAMII has moved forward with the development of a very timely, accurate, and strategically forward-looking technology investment plan — National Additive Manufacturing Technology Roadmap.”

Bill Macy, NAMII Deputy Director of Technology Transition, emphasized the growth in membership in NAMII, as well as NAMII’s efforts to inspire and challenge the next-generation of additive manufacturing innovators.

“For NAMII and our members, this first year has been beyond exciting and extremely productive,” said Mr. Macy. “As Ed previously stated, NAMII’s membership continues to grow. What’s even more exciting to me from a technology transition standpoint is that the diversity within our ranks has also grown to include more small- and medium-sized manufacturers. NAMII has received preliminary data showing business growth and job creation among our members. Additionally, NAMII continues to be committed to supporting youth STEM initiatives. We remain partnered with the Department of Energy – Oak Ridge National Labs’ Manufacturing Demonstration Facility to attend the 2014 FIRST® Championship. Recently, NAMII committed to attending the 2014 U.S. Science and Engineering Festival, the country’s only national science festival.”

Realizing the significance of today in NAMII’s brief history, Debbie Holton, Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Director of North American Events and Industry Strategy and a founding NAMII deputy director, issued a statement from SME on NAMII’s first anniversary.

“On behalf of SME, we extend congratulations to NAMII on its first year of building new partnerships and transforming perceptions of how innovation really works,” said Ms. Holton. “It was my privilege and pleasure to serve as NAMII’s founding deputy director of technology transition and to help build this new model. SME continues to be closely involved with NAMII, including NAMII’s participation in RAPID 2013 and the development of a skilled workforce in additive manufacturing.”

Howard Kuhn, Ph.D., P.E., Adjunct Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, Research Consultant at The ExOne Company, and a founding NAMII deputy director, also commented on NAMII’s achievements. “NAMII has had a huge impact on the area of Youngstown, bringing a breath of fresh air and excitement as the community rallies around the institute to provide its home,” said Dr. Kuhn. “NAMII will lead the way in showing how public-private partnerships can accelerate the pace of product development by focusing the vast array of academic, laboratory, and industrial talents across the nation on this critical need. On a personal note, I am honored to have the opportunity to be part of this adventure with the prospect of surging to worldwide leadership in development and application of additive manufacturing.”

A Look Back at a Year of Accomplishments

Most recently, NAMII had the honor of being one of several organizers to originate an unprecedented exhibition, Re-Shaping Ideas, Ingenuity in 3D Technology, at the McDonough Museum of Art on the campus of Youngstown State University (YSU) along with NAMII member, AST2 – Applied Systems and Technology Transfer. The exhibit gave more than 2,000 visitors a hands-on understanding of 3D printing and additive manufacturing by enabling them to learn more about the evolution of additive manufacturing in the last 25 to 30 years, but more importantly, to interact with and appreciate the aesthetics of 3D printed designs and objects.

NCDMM, NAMII, and NAMII members also had the honor of being awarded two prestigious economic development awards. Last month, NAMII and five of its founding Ohio members were cited as a Team Northeast Ohio (NEO) Economic Development Plus Award finalist. In January, The Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and The Rockefeller Foundation named NAMII as one of the top ten most innovative economic development initiatives in the United States. NAMII’s inclusion on this year’s list of “Innovations to Watch” from The Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and The Rockefeller Foundation was even more meaningful as it was cited just five months after its inception and brought more recognition to the TechBelt region.

In July, NAMII continued to build on its efforts at RAPID by assessing all direct input from attendees on the needs of the industry and applying that feedback to NAMII’s mission to develop a National Additive Manufacturing Technology Roadmap. NAMII convened meetings on July 1-2 and July 16-17 with members from its Governance Board, Executive Committee, and Technical Advisory Board to participate in Technology Roadmappping Workshops on Design for Additive Manufacturing; Additive Manufacturing Material; Process and Equipment; and Certification and Qualification.

NAMII’s debut appearance at the 2013 RAPID Conference and Exposition, which was produced by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and held on June 10 – 13 in Pittsburgh, Pa., made an indelible mark. With RAPID, NAMII had the extraordinary opportunity to engage with the additive manufacturing and 3D printing community and acquire direct input from them on the needs of our industry. Attendees continually recognized the innovative, out-of-the-box approach that NAMII took at RAPID in its efforts to foster an environment to collaborate and capture the voice of our community. Additionally, NCDMM Vice President and NAMII Director Ed Morris was one of three opening keynote speakers. According to SME, RAPID 2013 broke past attendance records with more than 2,500 attendees, almost doubling last year’s attendance and reflecting the widespread excitement about 3D printing and additive manufacturing.

NAMII was also honored to sponsor and attend 2013 FIRST® Championship in St. Louis, Mo., held April 24-27. The FIRST® Championship is the preeminent celebration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for youths to put their engineering skills to the test. NAMII is committed to supporting STEM initiatives and was a sponsor of the event in conjunction with the Department of Energy – Oak Ridge National Labs’ Manufacturing Demonstration Facility. This year, more than 10,000 students, comprising of 650 teams from 37 countries, traveled to St. Louis,Mo., to compete in the three levels of FIRST. With the FIRST Championship, NAMII had the opportunity to interface with, educate, and encourage students who are not only interested in the STEM fields of study, but are also passionate about applying those principals to create sophisticated robots that achieve amazing tasks.

At the beginning of April, NAMII conducted its first Program Management Review and Project Kickoff Meetings, which was hosted by YSU at the Williamson College of Business Administration (WCBA). With more than 100 representatives in attendance from NAMII members, the meetings were characterized as highly productive and successful. NAMII’s Governance Board, Executive Committee, and Technical Advisory Board also convened their first joint meeting at the two-day event. Long-time NAMII supporter, U.S. Representative Tim Ryan (OH-17) was also in attendance.

Congressman Ryan, along Congressman Altmire, was a co-founder of the Cleveland to Pittsburgh Tech Belt Initiative and was instrumental in securing funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for NAMII. In summarizing the NAMII’s accomplishments to date at the meetings, Congressman Ryan reinforced the importance of both the “Tech Belt” and NAMII to the U.S. manufacturing sector.

In March, NAMII announced the awardees of its initial call for additive manufacturing applied research and development projects from NAMII members. NAMII provided $4.5 million in funding toward these projects with the matching cost share from the awarded project teams totaling $5 million. NCDMM and NAMII selected seven projects that best integrate with the four NAMII thrust areas of technology development, technology transition, advanced manufacturing enterprise, and education/workforce outreach. The seven selected projects span a variety of metals and polymeric additive manufacturing processes and materials with near-term technical achievements impacting multiple key markets within a few months. Moreover, they represent excellent teaming by NAMII members with more than 30 different participating organizations, including eight universities and 25 industry partners from both small and large businesses.

NAMII also welcomed another congressional supporter in March, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on his first official visit to NAMII where the Senator cited NAMII’s success as the pilot institute for the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) and called for the formal creation of NNMI. Senator Brown, the leading proponent of American manufacturing within Congress, was also instrumental in bringing NAMII to Youngstown and Northeastern Ohio. Brown led a Congressional letter of support for the “Tech Belt” region. In his remarks, the Senator reaffirmed his commitment to helping the United States out-innovate the rest of the world while creating thousands of high-paying, high-tech manufacturing jobs, touting NAMII as a key first step in achieving that goal.

With February’s arrival, NAMII was thrust into the national spotlight as President Obama cited NAMII’s success in his State of the Union address. The President’s speech on ways forAmericato achieve economic growth and create more jobs featured NAMII’s creation, technology, and success as a key point, and included the announcement of the immediate creation of three more manufacturing hubs like NAMII through partnerships with the Department of Defense and Department of Energy. Of the citation, Mr. Morris said “We were tremendously honored to hear President Obama describe NAMII’s work inYoungstownduring his State of the Union address. It is rewarding to know that NAMII’s efforts to promote innovation and entrepreneurialism within the additive manufacturing sector are recognized and supported by the President.”

In December 2012, NAMII was honored to have Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett attend a NAMII-organized special event that was hosted by NAMII proposal member, Acutronic USA, Inc., in which the winners of the first Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania (RAMP) program awards were announced and recognition was given to the ongoing support that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has provided to NAMII. The three Pennsylvania companies awarded for their respective innovative work in additive manufacturing included ExOne in Irwin, Paramount Industries in Langhorne, and Acutronic USA, Inc. in Pittsburgh.

The RAMP program, which was in place prior to NCDMM’s federal award of NAMII, highlights both Pennsylvania’s foresight and commitment to advancing additive manufacturing technologies and the state’s role in bringing NAMII to the “Tech Belt” region. The RAMP program is managed by two of the Commonwealth’s leading research universities and NAMII members,Carnegie Mellon University and Lehigh University, working with the technology-rich Pennsylvania manufacturing sector.

NAMII attended its first Defense Manufacturing Conference (DMC) in November where NAMII was thrilled to mark a momentous milestone just four months after our official award in making its first call for applied research projects. The call for projects represented a decisive step toward accelerating more additive manufacturing technologies and innovation to the manufacturing sector. Projects undertaken by NAMII would be based on their applied research, high sustainability, digital data, and viability of educational outreach and workforce training. NAMII also announced open membership for organizations who share in NAMII’s vision and desire to not only transform the U.S.manufacturing sector, but also help it regain its global competitiveness.

In mid-October just eight-weeks after NAMII’s award and inception, NAMII held its inaugural all-hands, members-only meeting at the Ford Family Recital Hall at the Eleanor Beecher Flad Pavilion in downtown Youngstown. Upon the conclusion of scheduled proceedings at the pavilion, members were then invited to participate in guided tours at the NAMII facility.

Two weeks earlier, NAMII witnessed an outpouring of industry and community support from a crowd of more than 200 at its open house and official ribbon-cutting ceremony in Youngstown. At that time, Mr. Resnick stated “The implications of NAMII’s award and opening in this time and place are enormously significant and far reaching not only for the additive manufacturing sector and the manufacturing industry as a whole, but also for the community of Youngstown, the Tech Belt region of the Eastern Ohio/Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia, and our nation. It is a game changer. We are very excited to get down to business and build on the positive momentum of the open house event.”

By all indications, NAMII did just that in its first year and much, much more!