On Dec. 16, 2016, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced a new innovation institute to advance U.S. leadership in biopharmaceutical manufacturing. The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) is dedicated to accelerating innovation in biopharmaceutical manufacturing, developing standards and measurement science for the industry, and creating a well-trained workforce for the field’s high-paying jobs, many of which are currently unfilled. NIIMBL will be operated by the newly formed USA Bio consortium, a team of more than 150 companies, educational institutions, research centers, standards-setting bodies, non-profits, and manufacturing extension partnerships. The University of Delaware will administer a cooperative agreement on behalf USA Bio, in partnership with the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
NIIMBL is the eleventh institute to join the Manufacturing USA network and the first to be awarded under the 2014 bipartisan Revitalize American Manufacturing Innovation (RAMI) Act using an “open topic” competition. This approach allows industry to propose institutes on any advanced manufacturing topic not already addressed by another institute. NIST received nearly two dozen institute proposals and all applications were subject to a rigorous review by teams of technical experts and an interagency panel. The robust scope and breadth of advanced manufacturing proposals submitted to NIST for this competition is a strong indicator of demand for future Manufacturing USA institutes. The RAMI Act and the rules governing the competition allow NIST to award additional institutes from this competition, subject to the availability of funds. Additional institutes may be award from the 2016 competition, subject to the availability of funds.