This article was originally published here.
On August 13, 2021, the Department of Defense’s Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation (OLDCC), following a competitive selection process, announced that the state of North Carolina was selected to receive the designation as one of five “Defense Manufacturing Communities” in the nation during FY2020.
On September 22, 2021, the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation awarded North Carolina State University Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) one of the five grants under the Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program (DMCSP). The purpose of the DMCSP is to make long-term investments in critical skills, facilities, workforce development, research and development, and small business support to strengthen the national security innovation base. The grant application process was based upon the competitive ranking of proposals by a Defense Manufacturing Community Review Panel.
NC State IES has a long history of working with the DoD and DoD contractors. Phil Mintz, the executive director of NC State IES stated, “We are committed to delivering solutions to help improve leadership and the performance of the military. We regularly support the US military’s pursuit of excellence with services designed to streamline logistics, develop networks of local suppliers and provide essential safety and health training.”
NC State IES previously launched the NC Defense Industry Diversification Initiative (NCDIDI) in 2017 with funds from the United States Department of Defense Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation Office. The funds were used to support advanced manufacturing capabilities to North Carolina companies in the aerospace and defense supply chains, conduct needs assessments and deliver business services to eligible companies. ” This program will build upon our previous partnership efforts and support a centralized approach to assess and coordinate manufacturing systems and resources to support North Carolina manufacturers’ ability to deliver in-demand smart textiles to the warfighter,” said Michael Mullins, director of the NC DMSCP.
The recent grant awarded to NC State IES by the DMSCP is being used to undertake a multi-million dollar project in advanced textiles/autonomous wearables and implement a strategy to address immediate ramp-up needs of businesses as they transition out of COVID-19 restricted operations to longer-term technological opportunities. DoD cited that the awards under its Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program will come from the department’s fiscal year 2021 budget and add another $11.7 million from non-federal sources.
Organizational partners include:
- North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP)
- RTI International (RTI)
- North Carolina Center for Optimizing Military Performance (NC-COMP)
- North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCA&T)
- Manufacturing & Textile Innovation Network (MTIN)
- Center for Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST)
- Emerging Technology Institute (ETI)
- First Flight Venture Center (FFVC) and Hangar6
- North Carolina Department of Commerce
- North Carolina Military Business Center (NCMBC)
- North Carolina Defense Technology Transition Office (DEFTECH)
- Defense Alliance of North Carolina (DANC)
- North Carolina Defense Industry Diversification Initiative (NCDIDI)
- NC State Wilson College of Textiles
- Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA)
- Manufacturing x Digital (MxD)
- Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM)