LOUISVILLE, Ky. — UofL and the state’s manufacturing extension partnership (MEP), the Advantage Kentucky Alliance (AKA), are launching a new program to help manufacturers adopt 3-D printing technology for their businesses to develop better products and improve productivity.
The program, called Accelerated Innovative Manufacturing with 3-D Printing, or AIM-3DP, will provide small and medium manufacturers in the automotive and aerospace sectors with training, mentorship, and UofL-backed research, development, and consulting. The work is backed by a new $90,000 grant, one of only three of its kind in the country, from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.
AIM-3DP will partner manufacturers with UofL researchers and students, who will work side-by-side to identify better, more efficient ways to manufacture, develop new product lines and grow. The projects can be any size, though AIM-3DP will select two larger projects for more in-depth work and will split costs with the company.
AKA will provide AIM-3DP companies with coaching and training on business development, continuous improvement, and leadership. Companies also will receive grant writing training in hopes that projects may lead to Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) applications to fund technology development and innovation.
Companies can apply to be part of the program
The grant to AIM-3DP is funded by a research grant APLU received from the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, a physical sciences laboratory, and a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce.
The initiative explores how public universities can develop and scale partnerships with Manufacturing Extension Partnership Centers to increase the capacity of small and medium-sized manufacturers to adopt technologies key for their success.
The AIM-3DP program builds on both partners’ strengths. At UofL, companies will have access to a robust infrastructure for additive manufacturing and materials innovation, including the UofL Additive Manufacturing Institute of Science and Technology, known as AMIST, and its well-equipped center for rapid manufacturing.
Other partnerships receiving AIM-3DP grants are Northern Illinois University/Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center and Ohio University/Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership Southeast.
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