Submissions Due by September 4, 2020

Open Project Call

The America Makes Additive Manufacturing (AM) Technology Roadmap offers a means to assess the progress of prior and ongoing efforts of the institute and AM supply chain, identify technology gaps, and develop new goals/requirements to advance the state of the art for AM technology.

The Open Project Call leverages collaboration and perspectives from the membership, working groups, Roadmap Advisory Group (RMAG), and prior America Makes AM Technology Roadmap workshop efforts to create actionable focus areas which should address the needs of the membership.  Technical topic areas have been prioritized based upon input gathered from the membership, advisory groups, and working groups.  These topic areas span the five swimlanes of the AM Technology Roadmap (Design, Materials, Process, Value chain, and AM Genome) and address elements of the America Makes EWD Roadmap.

Technical Topics

Following is a list of topic areas for consideration for the 2020 Open Project Call:

  1. Digital Storefront materials data repository – development of methods, tools, and data models to facilitate the compilation, development, future prioritization, and tracking of mechanical and physical AM materials data for America Makes which will serve as a single touchpoint within the America Makes Digital Store Front
  2. Machine learning and artificial intelligence for prediction, identification, and translation of AM process parameters, quality metrics, product/material performance factors for various AM processes, materials, applications, and geometries
  3. Identification and documentation of design feature (geometry, orientation) in-situ sensing limitations for various types of AM materials and processes for in-situ defect detection and process quality monitoring (process parameters or process metrics within an acceptable range of operation).
  4. In-situ sensing process methods/practices which facilitate cross-calibration of in-situ sensing and physics-based models for metallic AM processes.  Development of methods for monitoring AM processes to validate experimental results and physics-based models or vice versa
  5. Development of environmental controls for feedstocks which impact product quality including:
    • Recyclability
    • Waste handling
    • Guidelines/recommended practices for material handling and material safety
    • Software controls
    • In-situ monitoring methods
  6. Demonstration of automated data acquisition, processing and storage for various AM processes.  Approaches should look to eliminate human error (manual data entry) and develop recommended practices for data gathering, formatting, and sharing
  7. Executive additive training courses – priority for America Makes generated and sharable content (limited or no background IP favored)
  8. Additive manufacturing courses for entry level engineering which embeds industry recognized credentials – priority for America Makes generated and sharable content (limited or no background IP favored)
  9. Cyber security for AM virtual training – priority for America Makes generated and sharable content (limited or no background IP favored)

One-Step Proposal Process

The proposal process for this America Makes Project Call is a one-step non-traditional process:

A full project proposal with a shortened format of 13 pages, as outlined in the RFP, is due by 5 p.m. EDT Friday, September 4, 2020. 

Dates/Deadlines:

Project Call Announcement and Posting 07/29/2020
Webinar at America Makes TRX 08/04/2020
Questions from Proposers about Scope or Approach Due 08/11/2020
Responses to Proposers about Scope or Approach Due

(All questions and responses will be shared with all proposers below.

08/18/2020
Deadline for all team members to be an America Makes Member 08/21/2020
Fully Executed NDA with NCDMM (if proposal contains proprietary information) 08/21/2020
Full Project Proposal Submission Due Date (Note: No Concept Paper Submission) 09/04/2020
Anticipated Decision and Notification to Project Proposal Teams 10/09/2020
Anticipated Date to have ALL Projects on Contract 11/09/2020
All project finalized reports and deliverables received by NCDMM no later than 05/28/2021

Open Project Call Questions & Answers

1. Can a non-member still participate on the open call projects and obtain membership via cost share during the period of performance of the project?
2. Do you have a format for the Concept paper for submission? If yes, will this be available online?
3. Is non-destructive inspection a part of the topic space for the open project call?
4. I would like to respond to the open call, but cost sharing is a challenge.
5. Clarification of “limited/no background” IP. Would America Makes entertain proposals where America Makes did not own the IP but accomplished the RFP objectives? Is America Makes looking to own the IP/Sole IP? Or will you consider Joint IP?
6. How does America Makes intend to make the training available? Free? Or will there be a charge? Is it a members’ only benefit? Or will it be offered to wider industry?
7. What levels of support are they expecting for the training materials? Is it stand alone with no support from Am Makes or the vendor? Are they expecting vendor support for the training? What level of service do they plan to provide for consumers of the training?
8. If resources are offered through asynchronous online learning, is there an opportunity for LMS integration via SCORM, etc. to make this available via America Makes?
9. What is the distribution plan to make these training resources available to the market and ensure utilization?
10. In this call you ask for “Additive manufacturing courses for entry level engineering which embeds industry recognized credentials – priority for America Makes generated and sharable content (limited or no background IP favored).” What do you mean by industry recognized credentials? Do you mean certificates?
11. How do we get engaged in chartered groups?
12. Previously expensed IRAD from before the proposed project start date would not be able to be used as cost share but we may want to go back and look at prior project calls to see if this question was asked before to see how we answered it to ensure we are remaining consistent.
14. Regarding IP for E&WD proposals, would the winning organization be able to subsequently offer the course that is developed (separately from America Makes)
13. Are there any limits the number of proposals an organization can participate in (either as prime or subcontractor)?
1. Can a non-member still participate on the open call projects and obtain membership via cost share during the period of performance of the project?

Yes, however all foreign-owned companies must apply for a foreign membership by completing Sections A & B of the membership request form, prior to proposal submission.  The approval process for foreign-owned entities can take up to 4 weeks to complete.  Please contact Tiffany Westbay for more information.

Please note, federal dollars cannot be spent outside of the Unite States.  It is the Lead / team’s responsibility to ensure compliance with all applicable export control laws and regulations.

3. Is non-destructive inspection a part of the topic space for the open project call?

While NDI was not explicitly mentioned in the topics listed, it may be of consideration for a Proposer to include as a means to evaluating characteristics of materials or product quality.  It could be leveraged as a means of validating machine learning or artificial intelligence models.

4. I would like to respond to the open call, but cost sharing is a challenge.

Often, Proposers will partner with several other members in order to reduce the cost share contributed by each team member or supplement the necessary expertise or capabilities of the team in order to derive a more manageable or sound response.  Collaboration is one of the pillars of the institute.  We encourage members to partner when and where it makes sense and adds value to the outcome(s) of the proposal.

5. Clarification of “limited/no background” IP. Would America Makes entertain proposals where America Makes did not own the IP but accomplished the RFP objectives? Is America Makes looking to own the IP/Sole IP? Or will you consider Joint IP?

Joint IP ownership would be considered if America Makes members have access to the training free of charge.  America Makes has no interest in owning or deploying training but the resources have to be free, on demand for America Makes members.

6. How does America Makes intend to make the training available? Free? Or will there be a charge? Is it a members’ only benefit? Or will it be offered to wider industry?

America Makes will use training resources produced by the project call to fill gaps in the EWD portfolio.  These resources would be used as members only benefit and is protected through the membership agreement.  The training cannot be commercialized or used for monetary benefit and any logos must remain when used.  Credit must also be given to the creators of the training courses.

7. What levels of support are they expecting for the training materials? Is it stand alone with no support from Am Makes or the vendor? Are they expecting vendor support for the training? What level of service do they plan to provide for consumers of the training?

The level of support would be up to the proposer. America Makes would like for these to be standalone resources created in a member driven way.  Although the resources must be given to America Makes members at no charge, they could be used outside of the membership by the creator as well.

8. If resources are offered through asynchronous online learning, is there an opportunity for LMS integration via SCORM, etc. to make this available via America Makes?

This would be acceptable if America Makes Members have no-cost, on demand access. If members do not have no cost, on demand access this would be unacceptable.

9. What is the distribution plan to make these training resources available to the market and ensure utilization?

America Makes will make training available through the America Makes Digital Storefront, and the EWD Roadmap Library/ inventory which will be created per America Makes Cooperative Agreement #3 with AFRL.  As stated in other answers this will be a member benefit where no branding can be removed and members cannot commercialize as this would break IP.

11. How do we get engaged in chartered groups?

Contact one of the following individuals:

14. Regarding IP for E&WD proposals, would the winning organization be able to subsequently offer the course that is developed (separately from America Makes)

Training resources must be given to America Makes members free of charge and on demand.  As long as that is the case the creator can offer the training outside of membership.

13. Are there any limits the number of proposals an organization can participate in (either as prime or subcontractor)?

No, there is no limit on the number of proposals that an organization can participate.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Which members of the team need to be America Makes Members?
2. Can a team submit more than on Project Proposal?
3. How do teams ask questions regarding scope and approach?
4. Can one of our partners be a non-U.S company?
5. When submitting detailed proposals will the approaches remain confidential, so as to not jeopardize future patent applications?
6. What level of detail needs to be provided when someone is declaring background IP?
7. Who owns IP that is produced as a result of this work (including matching funds from a commercial company)? If IP is owned by America Makes, is there a requirement that IP be licensed to members, and if so, what are the terms?
1. Which members of the team need to be America Makes Members?

All team members of project team must be America Makes members by 8/21/2020.

2. Can a team submit more than on Project Proposal?

Yes, teams may submit more than one Project Proposal.

3. How do teams ask questions regarding scope and approach?

Questions should be emailed to projectcall@americamakes.us. Questions will be posted to the America Makes website according to the RFP schedule. Questions asked AFTER the scheduled Q&A session will NOT be addressed.

4. Can one of our partners be a non-U.S company?

Yes, however all foreign-owned companies must apply for a foreign membership by completing Sections A & B of the membership request form, prior to proposal submission.  The approval process for foreign-owned entities can take up to 4 weeks to complete.  Please contact Tiffany Westbay for more information.

Please note, federal dollars cannot be spent outside of the Unite States.  It is the Lead / team’s responsibility to ensure compliance with all applicable export control laws and regulations.

5. When submitting detailed proposals will the approaches remain confidential, so as to not jeopardize future patent applications?

Yes.  The proposals will only be reviewed by the evaluation team and each team member signs a confidentiality agreement.

6. What level of detail needs to be provided when someone is declaring background IP?

The owning organization should list anything that they are leveraging that is not going to be made available to the membership at the completion of the project.  This could be a patent number or a description of the background IP that is being leveraged.

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