Department of Energy Announces Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centers Request for Proposals and Selects 14 Projects to Increase Clean Energy Productivity and Transform the Manufacturing Industry

Washington, D.C.: Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new request for proposals (RFP) and $1.36 million in selections for projects that will accelerate the adoption of Smart Manufacturing practices. These initiatives support the Biden Administration’s efforts to spur innovation, create a highly skilled Smart Manufacturing workforce, and reduce the carbon footprint of the manufacturing sector.

Smart Manufacturing describes a variety of measures involving digitization, automation, and artificial intelligence—all of which improve the efficiency, productivity, and environmental sustainability of the manufacturing sector. DOE’s Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII), which supports advances in smart sensors and digital process controls, will manage these projects.

“Smart Manufacturing will make the American manufacturing sector more productive, more energy-efficient, and more competitive on a global scale,” said Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Kelly Speakes-Backman. “DOE’s investments in Smart Manufacturing will accelerate the adoption of these technologies and processes, helping companies to create new, integrated systems and support their competitiveness around the world.”

Through the new Request for Proposals (RFP), CESMII will expand its Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centers (SMICs), a network of individuals and organizations from industry, government, and academia. SMICs allow manufacturers of all sizes to benefit from the network’s manufacturing assets and competencies, and to create testbeds. The RFP makes up to $1 million in funding available, to be matched by cost-share funding.

CESMII also selected 14 new research and development projects from a previous RFP issued last year. These projects will apply Smart Manufacturing solutions to real-world manufacturing process and operation challenges, improving energy productivity, performance, quality and efficiency.

View the full list of selected projects.

Founded in 2016, CESMII accelerates smart manufacturing adoption through the integration of advanced sensors, data analytics, platforms and controls. It is the third institute funded by EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. CESMII is also a part of Manufacturing USA®, a network of federally funded institutes that have a specialized technology focus to increase U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and promote a robust and sustainable national manufacturing R&D infrastructure.