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NOI:Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles-Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (RFT-IMI)


Thursday, December 31, 2015

This is a Notice of Intent ANNOUNCEMENT NUMBER: W15QKN-15-R-0074 1. GENERAL INTENT: The purpose of this Notice is to announce the U.S. Government’s intent to seek competition for the ninth Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IMI) as part of the Administration’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) initiative. It is the sixth IMI to be led by the Department of Defense (DOD). Of the eight Institutes previously announced by the President of the United States, five are led by DOD and three are led by the Department of Energy (DOE).
The DOD is leading IMIs focused on the following technology areas: (1) additive manufacturing (America Makes); (2) lightweight and modern metals (Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT)); (3) digital manufacturing and design; (4) integrated photonics; and (5) flexible hybrid electronics. The DOE is similarly leading IMIs focused on the following technology areas: (6) power electronics (Power America); (7) advanced composites; and (8) smart manufacturing for energy efficiency.

These Institutes are bringing together industry, universities and community colleges, federal agencies, and state organizations to accelerate innovation by investing in industrially-relevant manufacturing technologies with broad applications. They are intended to bridge the gap between basic research and product development, provide shared assets allowing access to cutting-edge capabilities and equipment, and create an unparalleled environment to educate and train students and workers in advanced manufacturing skills. Each Institute will serve as a regional hub of manufacturing excellence, providing the innovation infrastructure to support regional manufacturing hubs, thus ensuring that the U.S. manufacturing sector is a key pillar in an economy that is built to last.

The technical focus area for this Institute will be revolutionary fibers and textiles. The Institute will be referred to in the solicitation phase as the Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (RFT-IMI). Advances in fiber science have created fibers with extraordinary properties. Exceptional strength, flame resistance, electrical and other novel properties have revolutionized the fibers and textiles application space – hence the use of the term ‘revolutionary.’ Revolutionary fibers and textiles are a fast growing segment in the overall fiber and textile marketplace with a wide range of commercial and defense applications. They cover a range of fiber systems that are often known as technical textiles, composed of specialty fabrics, industrial fabrics, e-textiles, and advanced textiles. The core characteristic of technical textiles is that they are built upon a foundation of predominantly synthetic fibers and/or multi-material fibers.
The U.S. Government intends to enter into a five year cooperative agreement and provide federal funding of $75 million that is to be matched or exceeded by funding from private industry and other non-federal sources (minimum 1:1 cost share). A solicitation is expected to be released in mid-April 2015 with a Proposer’s Day to follow shortly thereafter (exact date and location will be announced later).

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