Posted: December 15, 2009

National Institute of Standards and Technology invests up to $71 million in new manufacturing, infrastructure research and development

(Nanowerk News) The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today announced up to $71 million in funding through its Technology Innovation Program (TIP) for 20 new cost-sharing projects that will support innovative, high-risk research in new technologies that address critical national needs. The new projects will include developing unmanned, hovering aircraft for bridge inspections, a high-speed sorting system for recycling aerospace metals, and nanomaterials for advanced batteries, among other projects. The awards will be matched by other funding sources to achieve nearly $150 million in new research over the next two to five years.
“President Obama is leading an effort to drive economic growth and solve national problems by deploying a 21st Century economy,” U.S. Commerce Deputy Secretary Dennis Hightower said. “These new projects will develop new technology and material that will play a critical role in modernizing infrastructure and developing the manufacturing sector across the country.”
TIP is a merit-based, competitive program that provides cost-shared funding for research projects by single small- or medium-sized businesses or by joint ventures that also may include institutions of higher education, nonprofit research organizations and national laboratories.
The 20 projects announced today were selected from a TIP competition announced on March 26, 2009, seeking projects addressing two broad areas of national interest:
– The practical application of advanced materials including nanomaterials, advanced alloys and composites in manufacturing
– The monitoring or repair of major public infrastructure systems, including water systems, dams and levees, and bridges, roads and highways.
TIP focused on developing new materials based on nanotechnology, advanced composites and so-called “superalloys” or smart materials—and expanding the capacity to incorporate these materials into new products—because many experts consider accelerated development of these advanced materials critical to potential growth in U.S. manufacturing.
The goals for this part of the competition were detailed in the white paper, “Accelerating the Incorporation of Materials Advances into Manufacturing Processes”.
TIP’s second area of focus—civil infrastructure technology—built on TIP’s 2008 solicitation for new sensor technologies to improve the monitoring of large-scale civil infrastructure, including bridges or pipelines. This year’s competition emphasized technologies to detect structural damage in water resource systems like water and wastewater pipelines, dams, levees and waterway locks, as well as bridges and roadways, and added a second focus on new technologies for repair and retrofit of existing structures.
The goals for this part of the competition were detailed in the white paper “Advanced Sensing Technologies and Advanced Repair Materials for the Infrastructure: Water Systems, Dams, Levees, Bridges, Roads, and Highways”.
Source: NIST