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Announcing the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 | News Release

At Impact Washington, our mission is to help Manufacturing companies in Washington State grow. I’m excited to announce a new partner program that is aligned with this mission, the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI)

The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, or NNMI, consists of multiple linked Manufacturing Innovation Institutes. Each has a unique technological concentration, but is also designed to accelerate U.S. advanced manufacturing as a whole. The Manufacturing institutes complement each other’s capabilities and benefit from shared approaches on matters such as intellectual property, contract research, and performance metrics. Each provides shared facilities to local start-ups and small manufacturers to help them scale up new technologies, accelerate technology transfer to the marketplace, and facilitate the adoption of innovation workforce skills. The network is designed to foster innovation and deliver new capabilities that can stimulate the manufacturing sector on a large scale. We’ve included a brief description of the NNMI institutes below.

Below please find an overview of the current NNMI institutes or click here for more detailed information.

America Makes: The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute

America Makes focuses on helping the United States grow capabilities and strength in 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing. America Makes facilitates collaboration among leaders from business, academia, nonprofit organizations and government agencies, focusing on areas that include design, materials, technology and workforce and help our nation’s three-dimensional (3D) printing industry become more globally competitive.

Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII)

The DMDII is the nation’s flagship research institute for applying cutting-edge digital technologies to reduce the time and cost of manufacturing, strengthen the capabilities of the U.S. supply chain and reduce acquisition costs for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The DMDII develops and demonstrates digital manufacturing technologies, and deploys and commercializes these technologies across key manufacturing industries. The goal is to create product and manufacturing process definitions simultaneously. Design innovation is the ability to apply these technologies, tools and products to re-imagine the manufacturing process from end to end.

LIFT – Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow

LIFT is part of a national network of research institutions and industrial companies geared toward advancing America’s leadership in manufacturing technology. The center will speed the development of new lightweight metal manufacturing processes from laboratories to factories for products using lightweight metal, including aluminum, magnesium, titanium, and advanced high-strength steel alloys. An equally important mission is to facilitate the training of the workers who will use these new processes in factories and maintenance facilities around the country.


The mission of PowerAmerica is to develop advanced manufacturing processes that will enable large-scale production of wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductors, which allow electronic components to be smaller, faster, and more efficient than semiconductors made from silicon. WBG semiconductor technology has the potential to reshape the American energy economy by increasing efficiency in everything that uses a semiconductor, from industrial motors and household appliances to military satellites.

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI)

Advanced composites are currently used for expensive applications like satellites and luxury cars. Researchers at IACMI will work to develop lower-cost, higher-speed, and more efficient manufacturing and recycling processes for them. Bringing these materials down the cost curve can enable their use for a broader range of products, including lightweight vehicles with record-breaking fuel economy; lighter and longer wind turbine blades; high-pressure tanks for natural gas-fueled cars; and lighter, more efficient industrial equipment. The Institute will focus on lowering the overall manufacturing costs of advanced composites by 50 percent, reducing the energy used to make composites by 75 percent, and increasing the recyclability of composites to over 95 percent within the next decade.

American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics)

The American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics) is an industry-driven public-private partnership that focuses on the nation’s premiere capabilities and expertise to capture critical global manufacturing leadership in a technology that is both essential to National security and positioned to provide a compelling return on investment to the U.S. economy. The Institute’s goal is to emulate the dramatic successes experienced by the electronics industry over the past 40 years and transition key lessons, processes, and approaches to the photonic integrated circuit (PIC) industry. AIM Photonics supports Small and Medium Enterprises, providing practical access and technology on-ramps for U.S. industry, government, and academic communities. We are creating a National PIC manufacturing infrastructure, widely accessible and inherently flexible to meet the challenges of the marketplace with practical, innovative solutions.

NextFlex, the Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute

This Institute is focused on developing a new era in flexible hybrid electronics manufacturing by catalyzing the US flexible hybrid electronics ecosystem to commercialize technology through investments in FHE materials scale-up, thinned device processing, device/sensor integrated printing and packaging, system design tools, and reliability testing and modeling.

Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA)

Our clothes help define us, yet the fabrics we wear and use have remained virtually unchanged for thousands of years. Recent breakthroughs in fiber materials and manufacturing will soon allow us to design and produce fabrics that see, hear, sense, communicate, store and convert energy, regulate temperature, monitor health, and change color – the dawn of a “fabric revolution.” A national non-profit backed by industry, academia, government, and venture capital, AFFOA will accelerate the widespread commercialization of highly functional fabrics. AFFOA is built on a simple premise: functional fabrics necessitate profound fiber innovation and predictive manufacturing.

AFFOA has America’s leading IP cache in semiconductor fibers and assemblies. AFFOA is strategically positioned as a National Fabric Innovation Network poised to deliver revolutionary advances across the entire fabric supply chain, from multifunctional fibers to advanced nonwoven and yarn production to sophisticated weaving and knitting capabilities and end-product fabrication for first-to-market manufacturing opportunities.

AFFOA will build a sustainable, high-tech ecosystem that captures this national opportunity.

Impact Washington would like to help connect you to the vast resources available within the NNMI Institutes.

The MEP network, of which Impact Washington is a part, provides hands-on assistance to thousands of small US manufacturers annually. We have a focus on acceleration technology solutions. The NNMI institutes can now act as incubators to connect small manufacturers in Washington with new technology resources that will help facilitate growth.

If you are interested in learning about these new resources available to you, we’d like to talk with you. Act now, click here and sign up to be one of the first WA manufacturers to benefit from the NNMI Institute.

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