Governor Corbett Awards Grant to Support University-Led Initiative to Integrate Technology, Talent and PA Manufacturers

LANGHORNE, Pa., Aug. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Continuing to advance his JOBS1st PA initiative, Governor Tom Corbett today announced the award of a Discovered in PA – Developed in PA grant to Carnegie Mellon University and Lehigh University to support the Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania program, created to engage in specific innovation projects with Pennsylvania manufacturers.

"Pennsylvania is known for making products for the world, and to remain competitive, we must ensure our policies support the technology and innovation of the 21st century," said Corbett. "By supporting this collaborative initiative, we will tap the best and brightest from two of Pennsylvania's many prestigious universities to help our manufacturers remain leaders in the global economy."

The Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania program (RAMP) will operate as a competitive funding program that will provide small incentive grants to faculty-led teams at both Carnegie Mellon University and Lehigh University to engage in specific, short-term innovation projects with a Pennsylvania manufacturing company to rapidly develop and transfer innovative technologies to help Pennsylvania manufacturers to compete in the global marketplace.

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) will receive a $1 million grant from the Discovered in PA—Developed in PA (D2PA) program to support the partnership between CMU and Lehigh's research on additive manufacturing also knows as 3-D printing. The use and deployment of this technology will support the efficiency and competitiveness of manufacturers within the commonwealth.

The governor was joined for the visit by America Makes, Carnegie Mellon and Lehigh Universities at 3D Systems, one of the largest 3D printing manufacturers and a partner on this project.

"Pennsylvania has taken a clear leadership role by actively advancing additive manufacturing in the commonwealth demonstrated by its investment to America Makes through the states Research for Additive Manufacturing in Pennsylvania (RAMP) initiative," said Jim Williams, VP of Aerospace and Defense, 3D Systems. "These programs, supported by Pennsylvania, Governor Corbett, America Makes, Pennsylvania's universities and 3D Systems, will advance 3D printing manufacturing technology, to become pervasive in industry which will lead to increased jobs assuring our national security."

Today's announcement will support at least 10 projects that include the fabrication of medical instrumentation for knee and hip replacement and complex additive processing parameters with various materials.

RAMP provides technical and economic benefits to the state's small, medium and large-sized manufacturing companies by enabling knowledge transfer, the discovery of new technologies and retention of highly-skilled students.

"Through investments made with our students and manufacturers, we will ensure that our students are provided with high-quality educational programs that will help them secure good paying jobs upon graduation," Corbett said.

A $1 million grant to Lehigh University from America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute and private industry contributions, has also been provided in matching dollars to fund the project.

"Additive manufacturing shrinks the distance between what we can imagine and what we can make," said Alan J. Snyder, Ph.D., Vice President and Associate Provost for Research and Graduate Studies, Lehigh University. "The RAMP program provides a proven means of doing what needs to be done to capitalize on the potential of additive manufacturing, in what will be a fast-moving and hotly competitive environment: connecting university research and talent development with Pennsylvania companies that can deliver new products and capabilities to customers."

"The advanced manufacturing R&D enabled by the RAMP 2 program will create a strong collaborative environment to make Pennsylvania companies more competitive in the nation and in the global marketplace," said Burak Ozdoganlar, Ph.D., RAMP Co-Director, Director of the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems, Carnegie Mellon University. "Manufacturing competitiveness is vital to retaining and increasing high-technology jobs in Pennsylvania, as well as retaining our best and brightest students in the state."

Additive technology employs computer design and computer-driven machinery to build complex parts and devices in microscopic layers, using plastics or powdered metals. The technology makes it possible to create shapes and designs previously impossible through traditional manufacturing methods.

D2PA was established by Corbett in 2011 to build capacity to support Pennsylvania businesses and to spur creativity and innovation in the provision of economic development services. Last fiscal year, the D2PA program supported initiatives tied to growing the life sciences, advanced manufacturing, business incubators, and education, workforce and economic opportunity collaborations

Media contacts:
Valerie Caras, Governor's Office, 717-783-1116
Heidi Havens, DCED, 717-783-1132

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor



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