This week, ACMA’s CGI Program met with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to discuss how federal agencies can better help grow the composites industry. In addition, this week ACMA and its members played a leading role in helping the Department of Energy identify opportunities to promote composites. These steps are promising for composites manufacturers and creating a roadmap for growth of the industry.

In the meeting with the White House Office of Science and Technology, ACMA pushed for a strategic plan for the composites industry that would identify technical and R&D barriers to the growth of composites. This would enable federal agencies to provide funding to overcome those hurdles. Examples could include challenges like recycling, greater performance for polymers and reinforcements for advanced applications. In addition, ACMA met with the National Science Foundation to explore ways to work with the foundation to drive more research for composites. As a result, the two organizations will explore webinars and presentations to help ACMA members better leverage academic resources to provide research and development. ACMA will continue to pursue opportunities to help fund R&D activities and overcome hurdles to growing composites.

In addition, The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), Department of Energy, held a conference on January 13 on polymer composites after publishing two requests for information.

Following the meeting, ACMA President Tom Dobbins commended United States Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz, Assistant Secretary David Danielson, and the Department of Energy staff for their leadership in identifying issues that if addressed will lead to the growth of composites.

“The department shared its findings and the important programs that it is working on to improve our nation’s economy and quality of life. Composites are a part of that equation; ACMA, its members and the composites industry stand ready to work with the Department to help composites reach their full potential and full benefit to our economy,” Dobbins stated. Read his complete statement here.

The meeting focused on composites in key clean energy applications, a summary of technical issues as well as research and development (R&D) needs related to low-cost fiber reinforced polymer composite manufacturing. ACMA, with the help from members of the CGI Committees, met with DOE and submitted an official industry response prior to the conference, which makes the argument for investments in glass as well as carbon fiber, further investments in polymer technologies and in helping make composites more recyclable.