The U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today announced a total of more than $22 million in funding for nine research projects targeting innovative manufacturing technologies in fields ranging from biopharmaceuticals and electronics to renewable energy sources and energy storage. Funded by NIST's Technology Innovation Program (TIP), the awards will be matched by other funding sources and are expected to result in an estimated $46 million in new advanced manufacturing research over the next three years.
"Keeping our nation's high-tech industries at the forefront of innovation is a key component to maintaining and improving U.S. industrial competitiveness in an increasingly competitive world," U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. "Through these TIP awards, we will help advance cutting-edge research in major growth sectors of 21st century manufacturing, including renewable energy and advanced pharmaceuticals."
TIP is a merit-based, competitive program that provides cost-shared funding for research projects by single small- or medium-sized businesses or by joint ventures that can include higher education institutions, nonprofit research organizations and national laboratories. The nine projects announced today were selected from 110 proposals in the "Manufacturing and Biomanufacturing: Materials Advances and Critical Processes" competition announced last April (see "2010 TIP Competition Focuses on Manufacturing Technologies")
The competition focused on technologies that could significantly improve manufacturing processes for advanced materials such as nanocomposites or in biomanufacturing, which produces vaccines and other biopharmaceuticals.
TIP promotes technological innovation by providing funding support to transformative, high-risk, high-reward research projects that address critical national needs. TIP awards are limited to no more than $3 million over three years for a single company project and no more than $9 million over five years for a joint venture.
See the full list of 2010 TIP project awards with links to additional details for each project below.
As a non-regulatory agency, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.
Manufacturing of Fully Deleted Helper-Virus Independent Adenoviral Vectors
Isogenis, Inc. (Aurora, Colo.)
Project Goal: To develop and optimize standardized manufacturing systems for a novel type of pharmaceutical-grade gene transfer vehicle for vaccination, gene therapy and tissue transplantation applications.
Volume Production of Nanocomposite Alloy Anode Materials for Lithium-Ion Batteries
ActaCell, Inc. (Austin, Texas)
Project Goal: To develop technology necessary to scale up production of the company's novel nanocomposite material for high-performance lithium batteries by a factor of a thousand, potentially enabling safe, powerful and economical batteries for electric vehicles and other demanding applications.
Atmospheric Spray Freeze-Dried Powder Process Advancement and Scale-Up
Engineered BioPharmaceuticals, Inc. (Manchester, Conn.)
Project Goal: To scale up and demonstrate a commercially viable production line employing a novel freeze-drying process to prepare complex biomolecules in powder forms that simplifies the storage and delivery of emerging, protein-based pharmaceuticals.
High-Throughput Manufacturing of Electrospun Core-Sheath Fibers
Arsenal Medical, Inc. (Watertown, Mass.)
Project Goal: To develop processes to increase production of drug-filled, hollow fibers to rates necessary to enable commercially viable use of these fibers in devices and products for drug delivery, tissue engineering, nanoscale sensors and other applications.
Process Innovation for High Technology Manufacturing of Flexible Liquid Crystal Displays
Kent Displays, Inc. (Kent, Ohio)
Project Goal: To develop a suite of integrated processes for efficient, "roll-to-roll" manufacturing of flexible, reflective displays for high-volume product markets.
Reprogram a Mammalian Cell Line to Optimize Production of Biopharmaceuticals
Precision BioSciences, Inc. (Research Triangle Park, N.C.)
Project Goal: To create new tools for modifying the chemical structure of proteins that are produced by current biomanufacturing technologies to improve the therapeutic action of the manufactured protein.
Volatile Reporters for Monitoring Biomanufacturing of Therapeutic Proteins
Ginkgo BioWorks (Boston, Mass.)
Project Goal: To develop genetically engineered measurement technologies for real-time monitoring of cellular health and production capacity during the manufacturing of therapeutic proteins.
Low-Cost, Scalable Manufacturing of Surface-Engineered Super-Hard Substrates for Next-Generation Electronic and Photonic Devices
Sinmat Inc. (Gainesville, Fla.)
Project Goal: To develop the means to fabricate high-quality, super-hard substrates in a rapid, reliable, scalable and cost-effective manner.
Synthesis of High-Efficiency Organic Photovoltaics for Scalable, Cost-Effective Manufacturing
Polyera Corporation (Skokie, Ill.)
Project Goal: To develop novel processes for manufacturing organic photovoltaic materials to enable large-scale manufacturing of high-performance, flexible solar-energy modules.